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JBLM Soldiers Headed To Iraq To Help Set Up Communication Systems


Soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord are being deployed to Iraq for the first time since 2011. About 110 men and women in the 51st Signal Battalion will head for Iraq later this month.

“The people who are selected for this mission are going to be the best at their job,” said Staff Sgt. Ashley Armstrong from Fort Gordon, Georgia, which oversees the unit.

According to Armstrong, the Iraq-bound group has expertise in setting up communication systems in remote areas.  

“That’s how orders get spread. That’s how people are able to know what’s expected of them, and what intelligence is out there to protect themselves and others. [It] is through commutations and intelligence support," Armstrong said.

The soldiers will join more than 3,000 U.S. service members already stationed in Iraq to help stabilize the Shiite-led government and prevent Sunni extremists from seizing more territory.  

The JBLM soldiers' mission will last nine months.

Jennifer Wing is a former KNKX reporter and producer who worked on the show Sound Effect and Transmission podcast.