Montgomery, AL – 300 airmen assigned to the 187th Fighter Wing are heading to the Middle East Thursday. The Alabama Air National Guard unit is based at Montgomery's Dannelly Field. The unit will be deployed to several undisclosed locations in the Middle East. Unit spokesman Major Paul Griggs says all 300 are volunteers and will serve about 50 days on active duty. He also says the unit will provide both military and humanitarian support for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Tuscaloosa, AL – Former state Senator Charles Steele has been in Israel this week. He says he's trying to establish a chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference there. He says it's part of an effort to expand the organization outside the United States. Steele says he's the guest of the group African-American Hebrew Israelites. Steele is the newly elected vice president of the national civil rights organization. He says he'll return to Tuscaloosa Thursday.