Kansas Adjutant General's Department

10/16/2007
Contact: Public Affairs Office- Catherine Horner
Email: catherine.f.horner.nfg@mail.mil

(785) 646-1192
www.kansastag.gov

 

Kansas Guardsmen Make History With Pre-Mobilization Training In Salina

Approximately 430 soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery, Kansas National Guard, will head to the Great Plains Joint Regional Training Center in Salina today, Oct. 16, to begin pre-mobilization training for their deployment to Iraq in 2008. The soldiers are from Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, Wichita; Battery A, Dodge City; Battery C, Kingman; and the 1161st Forward Support Company, Hutchinson.

This will be the first time that a Kansas National Guard unit has conducted pre-mobilization training at the Salina facility prior to overseas deployment.

“We are ready to demonstrate our ability to train our soldiers here in Kansas,” said Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, Kansas Adjutant General.

“Support from our state leaders has made the center in Salina capable of increased training and this translates to more time here at our homes in Kansas and more readiness for the nation. This is historic and something we have worked hard to establish and are very proud of our self reliance. Future deployments will follow the lead of the 161st.”

The Guardsmen will deploy in late November to Fort Bliss, Texas, for additional training prior to going to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in early 2008. Their mission will include work with the prison system, providing security, force protection and other duties.

“Once again, we see the flexibility of the Kansas Guard,” Bunting said. “Here we have artillery soldiers who have been called to carry out duties other than their primary mission. However, I have every confidence that these soldiers accomplish these tasks with the same professionalism and dedication as they would if they were operating their Paladin howitzers. I wish them well and God speed.”

A deployment ceremony will be held Nov. 21 at 11 a.m. at the Bicentennial Center in Salina. The soldiers will be able to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with their families before leaving for the additional pre-mobilization training in Texas.

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