Michigan Army National Guard heading for Middle East deployment
The Michigan National Guard’s 156th Expeditionary Signal Battalion prepares for its first deployment.
LANSING, Mich. — Over the weekend, about 350 soldiers from the Michigan Army National Guard gathered at a high school gymnasium with their families for a sending off ceremony.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer, commander-in-chief of the Michigan National Guard, spoke to soldiers from the Michigan National Guard’s 156th Expeditionary Signal Battalion (ESB) at Howell High School on Saturday.
In two separate departure ceremonies, soldiers gathered with their families and guests at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base and Howell High School as they prepared to depart for their deployment to the Middle East.
This will be the first deployment for the 156th ESB, which was established six years ago. Known by their slogan, “Nothing but Net”, the soldiers are expected to be deployed for up to a year.
“As our world again faces historic challenges, the Michigan National Guard stands ready to support our nation as we continue to ensure our safety through our overseas presence,” said Whitmer. “The Michiganders who serve our state and our nation in uniform are the best of us. Their service and the sacrifices their loved ones make keep us safe. They have our unwavering support as they embark on this new deployment, and we will continue to support our military families here at home.
“We will be operating under Operation Spartan Shield and will report to US Central Command (USCENTCOM),” said US Army Lt. Col. Samuel P. LaBara, commander of the 156th ESB. “We will be the communications backbone for all network requirements and enable uninterrupted mission command in CENTCOM, providing voice and data communications for units and operations in the region and emergency communications support. ”
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