Twenty-six Walter Reed Army Medical Center Soldiers will deploy to Iraq to support the 28th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad.

The 28th CSH is the primary military hospital supporting servicemembers assigned to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The deploying Soldiers include surgical experts, emergency medical specialists, critical care nurses, respiratory nurses and nutritional care specialists.

"Upon arrival in OIF, the 28th CSH will provide a full range of Level III hospitalization and outpatient services in order to preserve human life and maximize the return to duty of our Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen in harm's way," said LTC Philip Pemberton, Medical Center Brigade operations officer.

The brigade's mission is to ensure the readiness, plan the movement and safely execute the deployment of WRAMC personnel necessary to provide the required medical capabilities for the 28th CSH to successfully perform their wartime mission. "I can't think of a better example that embodies The Warrior Ethos and reflects the Army Chief of Staff's 2006 Army Birthday Message, 'Call to Duty-Boots on the Ground,'" Pemberton said.

"Health-care professionals from the busiest medical center in the Department of Defense are answering the call for selfless service and placing their boots on the ground despite hardships and possible dangers," Pemberton added. "With the departure of this group of Soldiers, WRAMC will have more than 120 individuals deployed and providing 'Warrior Care' in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

"The high [operations tempo] of medical support to GWOT missions, while minimizing impact on daily hospital operations, would not be possible without the outstanding support and sacrifice from all personnel, military and civilian, that are part of the WRAMC family," Pemberton said.

Walter Reed Health Care System commander COL Virgil Deal, said he feels the deployment is an honorable effort and one that will become part of the Army Medical Department and the 28th CSH's proud history.

"With a lineage that goes back to World War II, the 28th Combat Support Hospital has a proud history of support to America's war fighters," Deal said. "Over the years, medical Soldiers of many specialties have filled the PROFIS [professional officer filler] ranks of the 28th on many occasions, to include Operation Desert Shield-Storm, Haiti, hurricane relief for hurricanes Andrew and Marilyn and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003."

"Once again America is sending its best, both on the ground in the maneuver units and with the medical expertise that our 26 Walter Reed Soldiers will provide in the upcoming deployment of the CSH to OIF," Deal said. "We're wishing them the very best and they and their patients will be in our prayers. Hooah."