Kansas Adjutant General's Department

2/24/2011
Contact: Public Affairs Office- Catherine Horner
Email: catherine.f.horner.nfg@mail.mil

(785) 646-1192
www.kansastag.gov

 

11- 027 Kansas National Guard Unit To Deploy to Horn of Africa

Approximately 550 members of Kansas Army National Guard will be honored during a ceremony on Wednesday, March 2, as they deploy to the Horn of Africa for a year-long mission. The soldiers are from the 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery, headquartered in Wichita, with subordinate units in Dodge City, Great Bend, Lenexa, Liberal, Hutchinson, Newton, Paola, Pratt and Topeka. 

The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. at the Bicentennial Center, 800 The Midway, Salina, Kan. The public is cordially invited to attend. Doors open at 12 p.m.

Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D. and Maj. Gen. (KS) Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general, will speak at the ceremony.

“These Guardsmen will be working closely with local entities to build relationships,” said Maj. Gen. (KS) Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general. “They will be mentors and advisers, sharing what they have learned as soldiers and citizens of Kansas and learning from the people they will meet, as well.”

The unit is commanded by Lt. Col. Thomas Burke and the command sergeant major is Command Sgt. Maj. Ricky Matticks.

"The stability mission is perfect for our citizen soldiers,” said Burke. “Guardsmen bring depth to the partnership building between nations. We have an understanding of what citizens want when developing and protecting stability."

The unit’s mission will be to conduct stability operations in Africa in order to strengthen partner nation and regional security capacity to enable long-term regional stability, prevent conflict and protect U.S. and Coalition interests.

The soldiers will deploy to Camp Atterbury, Ind. for some additional mission-specific training and then on to the Horn of Africa. 

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