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    Arkansas ANG unit deploys to Africa

    Arkansas ANG unit deploys to Africa

    Photo By Ismael Ortega | Arkansas Army National Guardsmen assigned to 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment,...... read more read more



    Story by Ismael Ortega 

    Mobilization and Deployment, DPTMS Fort Bliss

    Deploying to support Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment, Arkansas Army National Guard, departed from the Silas L. Copeland Arrival/Departure Airfield Control Group here in waves to serve as security forces throughout the southern region of Africa.

    With the last wave of infantrymen leaving Feb. 13, more than 500 hundred Soldiers will work with other branches and foreign military personnel to ensure the security of their area of operation.

    “It’s important to build relationships with Africa and support their government by working with their military, cross training and reinforcing their security posture,” said Lt. Col. BJ Vincent, commander, 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment, Arkansas Army National Guard. “It’s a great mission for us and a great opportunity for a lot of the Soldiers who haven’t deployed.”

    With monthly training sessions in their home state, the Soldiers are always prepared for a deployment and this one is no different. The unit had two pre-mobilization training cycles before proceeding here for training specifically tailored for this mission.

    “The Mission Readiness Exercise was pretty intense. They develop a training schedule that would reflect what we would actually be doing in Africa and made it as realistic as possible,” said Sgt. 1st Class Markham McMillan, platoon sergeant, 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment, Arkansas Army National Guard.

    With a majority of Soldiers deploying for the first time, this is an excellent opportunity to implement their skills and further their military and civilian careers. Soldiers have been encourage to utilize their off time to take online courses or improve their physical fitness.

    “I think we have the best prepared unit that I’ve been with. I was a prior service Marine and we did a lot of training every day,” McMillan said. “The individuals that we have going right know with the amount of training that we’ve been able to get in – whether schedule training or white space training – has really helped these Soldiers a whole lot.”



    Date Taken: 02.23.2017
    Date Posted: 02.27.2017 10:46
    Story ID: 225004
    Location: FORT BLISS, TX, US 
    Hometown: BRYANT, AR, US
    Hometown: MALVERN, AR, US
    Hometown: VAN BUREN, AR, US

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