The Washington National Guard’s 803rd Engineer Detachment was due home tonight at Camp Murray after nearly a year in Iraq.
The unit’s 51 soldiers kept the electricity flowing and built defensive fighting positions, among other missions, at the U.S. military base at Abu Ghraib and at the Victory Base Complex, west of Baghdad.
For its work the 803rd earned a Meritorious Unit Commendation:
“The Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC) is awarded to the 803rd Engineer Team (Utilities) for exceptionally meritorious performance of duty during Operation Iraqi Freedom 05-07 from 23 December 2005 to 22 December 2006 in support of the 130th Engineer Brigade and the Multi-National Corps, Iraq. The 803rd’s professionalism, dedication, technical expertise, and devotion to duty made these Soldiers an engineer force multiplier. They provided vertical construction, horizontal construction, electrical power support, mobility, counter-mobility, and survivability support to both Forward Operating Base Abu Ghraib and Victory Base Complex, supporting Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine operations. Their actions directly improved the Force Protection and quality of life on FOB Abu Ghraib and Victory Base Complex. The 803rd Engineer Team’s sacrifices and performance in the most challenging of circumstances reflect great credit upon the Soldiers, the Army National Guard, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and the United States Army.”
With the 803rd’s return, there are about 1,300 National Guard and reserve service members from Washington on active-duty for wartime operations overseas and in the United States, according to the Pentagon’s most recent figures.