Guard unit to deploy
Posted: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 9:09 pm
NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee’s largest National Guard unit, the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, has been ordered to mobilize for an upcoming deployment.
The specific date and location of the deployment were not announced Monday, but Tennessee National Guard officials have said the unit won’t deploy until the 2010 fiscal year, which starts in October.
The unit has been on alert for a possible deployment since last year when the military said the Knoxville-based unit was one of four National Guard units that could deploy to Iraq.
Last month, the military completed a withdrawal of combat forces from Iraqi cities to outlying bases while more troops have been sent to Afghanistan.
“The world situation is constantly changing after seven years of deployments, and the current situation will determine how and where the regiment is utilized as part of the Global War on Terror,” said Brig. Gen. Max Haston.
The commander of the regiment, Col. Jeffrey Holmes, said the units’ soldiers have been training collectively and individually for the past six months in anticipation of the deployment.
“Our soldiers and families are prepared, and we’re ready to get it started,” he said.
The regiment comprises more than 3,000 soldiers from across the state. The regiment last deployed in June 2004 to train Iraqi security forces and assisted with provincial elections.
“We began this process three years ago and it will be gratifying to have the opportunity to finish the job,” Holmes said.
The regiment will go to Camp Shelby, Miss., for training before deploying.
Published in The Messenger 7.14.09
278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Tennessee