Some 70 members of a local Washington Army National Guard unit are headed for training at Fort Hood, Texas, in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan.
They are members of B Company, 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation Regiment, headquartered at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, according to a news release.
A departure ceremony is scheduled for them Monday at Lewis-McChord.
The citizen soldiers from Washington will be joined by about 70 members of the Oregon National Guard for their yearlong deployment to Afghanistan, the news release said.
The unit includes pilots, air and ground crew members CH-47 helicopters. They’ll transport troops and supplies in Afghanistan.
Here’s a copy of the news release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 13, 2010
CAMP MURRAY – The Washington Army National Guard will bid farewell to approximately 70 citizen soldiers from B Company, 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation Regiment at a departure ceremony on Monday, May 17 at 10:00 am in the Army Aviation Support Facility #1 on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
B Company will be serving in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and will be joined by approximately 70 more citizen soldiers from the Oregon Army National Guard. They will deploy to Afghanistan after training for two months at Fort Hood, Texas this summer.
“B Company is comprised of consummate professionals. Their record of excellence during previous state and federal missions is well established, and I know they will accomplish their mission with distinction,” said Major General Timothy J. Lowenberg, the Adjutant General and Commander of the Washington National Guard.
B Company is headquartered on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, under the WAARNG’s 66th Theater Aviation Command. Their mission in Afghanistan will focus on transporting troops and supplies. The unit consists of aviators, crew members and maintainers of CH-47 (Chinook) helicopters.
B Company’s deployment is scheduled for 12 months plus any leave time they accrue, and are slated to return home in the summer of 2011. The unit has previously served in Afghanistan.