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Minnesota National Guard
1-34 BCT Officially Extended in Iraq

CAMP Adder, Iraq -- After reading about their extension for four days in the news, the Soldiers of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division received an official 125 day extension order today

"This is the word we were waiting for"said Colonel David Elicerio, the BCT Commander "The news last week came as a surprise to all of us Ever since the early rumors about this deployment back in 2005, we have relied upon official orders to make our plans I know such caution can be frustrating for those who want speed but I believe the tradeoff in accuracy is worth it"

The extension order states the Red Bulls will be extended for 125 days past their original return date The Soldiers can now expect to return to their families around August "The extension order only tells you are you extended It does not lay out in details of your mission in the future"said Lieutenant Colonel Larry Herke, the BCT Executive Officer "The detailed operational order is being developed now The Red Bulls can honestly say they are they best in the world at the Theater Security mission We have all the cutting edge training, equipment, and vehicles We certainly are disappointed by the delayed homecoming but there is no doubt we are the best Soldiers for this mission"

The seven battalions of the brigade provide convoy and base security across Iraq Comprised mainly of National Guard Soldiers from Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, and New Jersey, the citizen Soldiers have already patrolled over 15 million miles of Iraq, inspected tens of thousands of vehicles, discovered hundreds of IEDs, upgraded over 600 armored vehicles, and reenlisted almost a thousand Soldiers

"I think everyone was a little shocked by the news"said Command Sergeant Major Douglas Julin, the BCT Command Sergeant Major "It's hard on families, on employers Everyone was making plans for a Spring reunion back home But, we've made it this far, we can make it thought this"

For more information about the 1/34 BCT, please see wwwredbullwebcom

By Captain Mark Lappegaard, 1/34 BCT PAO
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