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Deployment ceremony for 100 Fort Sill soldiers

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FT.SILL,Okla_The war in Afghanistan may be drawing down but that doesn't mean U.S. Army soldiers aren't still being deployed.

Thursday a celebration was held on Fort Sill at Rinehart's Fitness Center. 100 soldiers will be headed to Bahrain, a small island in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Saudi Arabia.

One Private First Class was especially eager for his first deployment.

"This is one of the reasons why I joined the military to deploy and serve my country."

The 100 men and women deploying are Field Artillery soldiers but they aren't bringing their guns and will not be in their typical Field Artillery role.

These soldiers from Charlie Battery, 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery, 214th Fires Brigade won't be doing their typical role this deployment, instead they will be Infantry.

"Over the past four months we had some challenging training, everything from light infantry to some mounted vehicle tactics. It's been challenging because we have had so many different people and we are a Field Artillery unit," said one 2nd Lieutenant. 

The unit will be in Bahrain for nine months protecting U.S. Navy and coalition assets by providing security.  Families are happy though that this deployment won't be as dangerous and the soldiers are confident in their mission and their leadership.

Family members never want to see loved ones deployed, especially into danger areas but
some of those families at Thursday's celebration felt a little bit better about this deployment than others in the past as they hope it will not be as dangerous.

"They are kinda more satisfied with it because it's an easier mission. There is always that risk but its not as risky as some of the ones I've been on prior," said one Staff Sergeant. 

The soldiers are confident in their mission and their leadership.

"Lot of trust in the leadership. They did a great job. The NCO's, the whole chain of command did a real great job so I am looking forward to it, it should be a lot of fun." 

With all of the military spending cut backs, these soldiers will not be entitled to extra pay that they would have been eligible for last year. The Pentagon scaled back the number of places eligible.

The Department of Defense concluded that the risk has significantly reduced in Bahrain and other parts of the middle east that used to be eligible.


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