Mass. National Guard Troops To Iraq Monday

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Forty Massachusetts Air National Guard troops from the 102nd Security Forces Squadron leave for Iraq Monday.

"For the first time we're actually bringing our entire headquarters element," said Lt. Col. Chris Hamilton, the squadron's commander. "All the leadership from this squadron are deploying forward, and we'll be running a squadron over in Iraq."

The squadron's primary responsibility will be protecting airbases in Iraq.

"Our career field specializes in airbase defense and anti-terrorism, so our job is to deploy and protect airbases and assets on those airbases," Hamilton said.

Hamilton said keeping the whole squadron together is good for morale. He also said it's the largest number of airmen to deploy at once from his wing since Sept. 11.

A send-off ceremony is set for Otis Air National Guard Base Monday.

This program aired on August 9, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.