Joshua Grimlsey

Air Force Airman Joshua D. Grimsley recently graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

During the six weeks of training, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization, and military customs and courtesies; performed drill and ceremony marches, and received physical training, rifle marksmanship, field training exercises, and special training in human relations.

He is the son of Jami Grimsley, Warner Robins, Ga., and nephew of Cherry Honsinger, Konawa.

Grimsley is a 2006 graduate of Konawa High School.

Justin Ray

Army National Guard Pvt. Justin R. Ray recently graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises.

Ray is the son of Christine Dorer, Tishomingo.

William Spatz III

Civilian William H. Spatz, III, son of Barbara L. Spatz, Roff, and William H. Spatz, II, Syracuse, Utah, recently enlisted in the United States Navy under the Delayed Entry Program at Navy Recruiting District Dallas, Irving, Texas.

The program allows recruits to enter the Navy and take up to one year to complete prior commitments such as high school. Using recruiters as mentors, this program helps recruits ease into the transition from civilian to military life.

Spatz will report for active duty to undergo basic training at the Navy's Recruit Training Center, Great Lakes, Ill.

Camp McGregor, N.M. — More than 2,600 members of the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) who answered the call to duty earlier this year have successfully completed seven weeks of mission specific training at Camp McGregor, N.M.

The brigade has 23 companies training at Camp McGregor, most of which have successfully completed at least 50 percent of their required training. The training has included convoy operations, advanced rifle marksmanship, close quarter combat, land navigation, language familiarization and base defense operations.

“I have really learned a lot,” said Spc. Christina Black, Oklahoma City, about the training she has received. “During our close quarters combat training I was a squad leader in charge of several soldiers who out rank me. I am very grateful to have had the leadership opportunity during such an important phase of our training.”

Col. Frank Sherman, commander of the 5th Armor Brigade, which is the unit charged with preparing the 45th for deployment, has been very pleased with the 45th’s progress through the various training sites. “The 45th is one of the most professional organizations I have had the pleasure of working with,” said Sherman. “My soldiers have told me repeatedly that they feel as if the 45th has integrated them into their units which has made for a very smooth training process both for my staff and for the 45th’s soldiers.”

Once all 23 companies have completed their training they will deploy to a number of locations within Iraq early next year to perform a variety of missions to include the administration of the International Zone in Baghdad and several security related missions.

Although this deployment is the largest the 45th has seen since the Korean War, members of the brigade have recently deployed to Egypt, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq. In fact, for many members of the brigade, this deployment will mark the third of fourth time they have left their family and friends to serve in the war on terror.

“Once again, the men and women of the 45th have put their duty to country before themselves,” said Brig. Gen. Myles L. Deering, commander of the 45th IBCT. “I am extremely proud of the way in which the soldiers under my command have taken on and overcome every challenge they have faced. Through their selfless sacrifice the world will be a safer place for all of us.”

Thanks to the generosity of their fellow Oklahomans, every member of the brigade has been offered the opportunity to ride a commercial bus home for Christmas at no cost to the soldier. The buses will depart Camp McGregor on the evening of Dec. 22 and return the soldiers to Camp McGregor on Jan. 2.

Once they have returned from their Christmas break, the soldiers of the 45th will complete their training and deploy to Iraq for approximately nine months before returning to Oklahoma.

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