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Army National Guard Staff Sgt. James J. Phelps has been mobilized and activated at Fort McCoy in Sparta, Wis., for deployment overseas to a forward operating base in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The soldier is a member of the 201st Engineer Battalion in Cynthiana.
Operation Iraqi Freedom is the official name given to military operations involving members of the U.S. armed forces and coalition forces participating in efforts to free and secure Iraq. Mission objectives focus on force protection, peacekeeping, stabilization, security and counter-insurgency operations as the Iraqi transitional governing bodies assume full sovereign powers to govern the peoples of Iraq.
Members from all branches of the U.S. military and multinational forces are also assisting in rebuilding Iraq's economic and governmental infrastructure, and training and preparing Iraqi military and security forces to assume full authority and responsibility in defending and preserving Iraq's sovereignty and independence as a democracy.
Phelps is a combat engineer team leader with 12 years of military service.
He is the son of Randy J. Phelps of Campbellsville and Rebecca A. Phelps of Lexington. His wife, Heather, is the daughter of Gordon Leishman and Ann Leishman, both of Lexington.
The staff sergeant is a 1992 graduate of Tates Creek High School in Lexington.