News: Indiana National Guard soldiers to deploy to Kosovo
Story by Staff Sgt. Les Newport
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Detachment 2, Company B, 638th Aviation Support Battalion, headquartered in Shelbyville, Ind., held a departure ceremony, Monday at the Indiana National Guard Army Aviation Support Facility in Shelbyville.
Approximately 25 Indiana National Guard soldiers are deploying. They will be commanded by Capt. Stephen Kempf, and his senior enlisted advisor is 1st Sgt. Thomas Robbins. The soldiers will conduct Army aviation support operations in Kosovo during a nearly yearlong deployment in support of Kosovo Force. The unit’s primary mission will be to medevac and assault aircraft operational.
Indiana’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, wished the unit well.
“The Indiana National Guard is approaching 21,000 deployed in the last ten years. I know that 50 percent of you have deployed at least once before, and that is about average for our deploying units now.” said Umbarger.
He also commended the unit for preparing to deploy with just six months noticed compared to the traditional two year notification.
“Your country needed you, and in Indiana we’re always ready, and we’re always there. That’s why we’re the fourth largest Army National Guard in the country,” said Umbarger.
Kempf thanked the families and friends for their support then addressed his unit.
“We’ve had a very short window of time to assemble our team since we were first alerted for this deployment,’ said Kempf. “But due to your team-first attitude and warrior spirit you have come together and forged a bond like no other.”
Detachment 2 is now headed to Fort Hood, Texas, for more training before assuming responsibilities as the maintenance command. The Hoosier with soldiers will integrate with Florida National Guard soldiers who also specialize in maintenance of UH-60 Black Hawk aviation assets.