About 250 artillerymen in Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 17th Fires Brigade are preparing for a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan, the Army announced this week.
The soldiers will be spread out at different locations throughout the country, manning batteries to support infantry units. They are expected to serve a one-year deployment.
The soldiers are assigned the 1st Battalion, 377 Field Artillery Regiment. That unit has fought on two yearlong missions in Iraq, most recently returning from a deployment in July 2010.
Its mission shows that soldiers from Lewis-McChord will have a greater role in Afghanistan in 2012. Most of its units have been stationed at home this year. Lewis McChord’s I Corps; 22nd Engineer Battalion; 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment; and 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group are in Afghanistan currently. Later this year, they’ll be joined by the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.
The field artillery regiment is holding a ceremony to case its colors, which signifies that its shifting its focus to its upcoming deployment. The soldiers could deploy within the next few weeks.