Head of Iowa National Guard Notes Profound Changes

Members of the Iowa Army National Guard's Detachment 1, Company C, Medical Evacuation 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion salute during the national anthem during a community send off ceremony at the Army Aviation Support Facility #2 in Waterloo on Thursday, July 19, 2012. Approximately 50 soldiers with the unit will be deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. The unit operates UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters for medical evacuations to combat support hospitals. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)

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By Kayleigh Milas

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The head of the Iowa National Guard says the organization is entering a time of historic transition as overseas demands decline and many service members are set to retire.

Major General Timothy Orr delivered the annual "Condition of the Guard" speech Wednesday morning in the Iowa House of Representatives. The speech is intended to update lawmakers on the work of the Iowa Army National Guard.

Orr says the guard hasn't faced such a "profound time of change" since the end of World War II.

There are 9,400 National Guard soldiers and airmen in Iowa. Just 100 of that group are currently deployed around the world and Iowa has no units in Iraq or Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama has said the United States would withdraw most troops from Afghanistan by 2014.

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