Head of Iowa National Guard Notes Deployment Drop

Maj. Gen. Timothy Orr, Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, prepares to deliver his Condition of the Guard address before a joint session of the Iowa Legislature as Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, left, looks on, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa.

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By Rachel Begle

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The head of the Iowa National Guard says the number of guard members deployed overseas is at one of the lowest points since the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In his annual "Condition of the Guard" address to the General Assembly on Thursday, Major General Timothy Orr noted about 260 soldiers and airmen are currently deployed. Over the past decade, the number deployed has been as high as 3,500.

In the past year, Iowa guard forces have been in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Qatar, Honduras and Kuwait.

There are 9,400 National Guard soldiers and airmen in Iowa. Orr says overseas demands have decreased since President Barack Obama announced that the United States would withdraw troops from Afghanistan by 2014.

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