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MP unit will spend longer tour in Iraq

By Staff
Special to The Standard
An Alabama Army National Guard Military Police company is among 41 units the Secretary of Defense has approved delaying their redeployment from Operation Iraqi Freedom back to the United States.
The 1165th Military Police Company from Fairhope and Brewton will have their tour of duty in Iraq extended along with other Active Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve units. Units being extended beyond the established "12 Months Boot on the Ground" policy include mainly MP, transportation, medical and chemical units.
The reason for the delay is to provide the combatant commander with the forces required to defeat those elements threatening the security of Iraq. The exact length of extensions for each individual unit was not included in the Department of the Army announcement, but it was indicated the tours will be extended between 90 and 120 days.
The largest element being extended is the 1st Armored Division from Germany with some 11,800 troops. Some 2,300 personnel in the 2nd Cavalry Regiment from Fort Polk. La. and 5,600 additional personnel in 39 Army National Guard and Army Reserve support units, including the 1165th, make up the rest of the group.
In making the announcement, Department of the Army officials acknowledged the great sacrifices these soldiers and their families are making.
They also said when a unit's capabilities are no longer needed in theater, the unit will be released.
The 1165th MP Company initially activated with approximately 170 personnel in March 2003. The 1165th has provided security and protection for both military forces and Iraqi civilians, and has helped train the Iraqi Police Force since being deployed to Iraq.