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Troop Extension Affects Almost 1,500 MO, IL Soldiers


Jefferson City, MO & Springfield, Ill. – The 20,000 U.S. troops whose stay in Iraq was extended Thursday includes about 850 soldiers from Guard and Reserve units based in Missouri and 600 from Illinois.

They were expected to return home by June.

Three Missouri National Guard units are affected by the 90-day extension.

Brigadier General Dennis Shull, adjutant general for the Missouri National Guard, says the 203rd Engineer Battalionin St. Peters, the 217th Military Police Company in St. Clair and the 1221st Transportation Company at Jefferson Barracks will stay longer overseas. All three units were deployed in March 2003.

Of the Missouri Guard's 8,100 members, 1,700 are deployed either nationally or internationally.

The announcement affects 604 Illinois soldiers, in all.

The military extended the tours of four of the seven Illinois National Guard units now serving in the Middle East.

For Company "F" of the Peoria-based 106th Aviation Battalion, this will be the second time its one-year tour has been extended.

The other units staying on are the 333rd Military Police Company of Freeport, the 933rd Military Police Company of Chicago and the 1244th Transportation Company of North Riverside.