Army Staff Sgt. William B. Kinchen II has deployed to the Iraqi theater of operations to support the mission of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The soldier is a member of the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry, the “Black Lions,” 4th Infantry Combat Brigade, 1st Infantry Division based at Fort Riley, Junction City, Kan.

The Black Lions, activated in 2006, are one of the Army’s newest modular infantry brigade combat teams. In preparation toward deployment to a combat environment, the battalion soldiers completed a four-week collective training at Fort Irwin, Calif.

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.

Kinchen is a reenlistment officer with 10 years of military service. He is the son of William B. and Debra C. Kinchen of Wayne.

The sergeant graduated in 1997 from Maranacook Community High School, Readfield, and received an associate degree in 2006 from Pierce College, Fort Lewis, Wash.

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