Maj. Gen. Tonini in Iraq

Capt. Travis Huber, commander of the Maysville, Ky.-based 301st Chemical Company, reviews his operations with the Adjutant General of the Ky. National Guard, Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, during his visit with the troops in Iraq, August 20. (U.S. Army photo)

The following article is from the Louisville Courier-Journal. The article is based on a live interview Maj. Gen. Tonini conducted yesterday while visiting the troops in Iraq.

Guard official visits Ky. soldiers in Iraq
By Derek Poore
August 20, 2009

Long-term and repeated deployments to Iraq have not hurt Kentuckians so far, the adjutant general of the Kentucky National Guard says.

Maj. Gen. Edward Tonini made the comments after meeting Thursday with the 301st Chemical Company from Morehead and the 299th Chemical Company based in Maysville during a trip to the Green Zone in Baghdad.

Tonini will meet the Shelbyville-based 1163rd Medical Company on Friday in southeastern Iraq.

Members of the 299th and 301st were previously deployed in Iraq in 2005 and the 1163rd was deployed in Afghanistan in 2003-04.

“I am concerned like a lot of people are concerned about wearing these soldiers out, but so far I haven’t seen it,” Tonini, of Louisville, said during a conference call with reporters. “We have a lot of people fired up
ready to go.”

About 180 soldiers are deployed with the 301st and 299th and 82 are deployed with the 1163rd, said David Altom, spokesman for the Kentucky Department of Military Affairs.

The 1163rd was most recently deployed in fall 2008 and is scheduled to return in September. The 301st and 299th were deployed in May and are scheduled to return in May 2010. The companies are providing security support for U.S. bases.

Tonini had dinner with troops and said they were in high spirits.

Altom could not confirm if Tonini would next travel to meet Kentucky units in Afghanistan, citing security concerns.

There are 89 soldiers from the Kentucky Air and Army National Guard in Afghanistan as part of an agricultural development team.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, about 12,000 members of the Kentucky National Guard have been deployed worldwide, Altom said.

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