Two Oregon Guard soldiers killed in Iraq

PORTLAND — Two Oregon National Guard soldiers were killed and another wounded Friday when a convoy they were guarding was attacked in Iraq, the Guard announced Friday.

The deaths bring to 19 the number of Oregon National Guard troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, said spokeswoman Kay Fristad.

Capt. Stephen Bomar said the incident happened during a convoy security mission in eastern Baghdad.

The names of the dead will be withheld for at least 24 hours, pending notification of next of kin, Bomar said. The injured soldier was taken to a combat support hospital.

The soldiers were part of the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team with the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), which numbers about 2,700 and has been in Iraq about a month, said Fristad.

The brigade headquarters are in Tigard, and battalions within the unit are based in Clackamas, Portland, Forest Grove, Springfield, Ashland and Bend.

Approximately, 600 members of the Oregon Army National Guard's 1st Battalion of the 186th Infantry, headquartered in Ashland, shipped out to Kuwait in early July, and arrived in Iraq later that month. They had completed training at the Army's Camp Roberts in California in April, and left May 11 for advanced training at Fort Stewart, Ga. From there they went to Kuwait.

The local battalion went to Iraq along with soldiers from Delaware, Nebraska, New Mexico and South Carolina. They are expected to be there at least 10 months, returning home in spring 2010.

The deployment is the Oregon Guard's largest since World War II.

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