Kentucky Guardsmen provide security at the 2010 World Equestrian Games

MJO

By Sgt. Dale Elliott, 75th Troop Command, Unit Public Affairs Representative 

Kentucky National Guard Pfc. Justin Piercy, a soldier assigned to Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery, provides security at one of the horse competitions at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Ky., Sept 25.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 25, 2010) – Of all the sights at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, Soldiers wearing a Kentucky thoroughbred shoulder patch may be one of the most unique.  That’s the calling card of the Kentucky National Guard’s 138th Fires Brigade, sometimes known as the “Horse Head Brigade.” 

Located at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, the World Equestrian Games are comprised of the world championships for eight equestrian sports.  The games are held every four years and over 50 nations make up the list of this year’s competitor. 

Members of royalty from Britain and the Middle East, celebrities and dignitaries are among the competitors, and tens of thousands of spectators bring the attention of the world to the “Bluegrass State.” 

The 138th is supporting federal, state and local authorities in the security mission at the games, which are being held for the first time outside of Europe.  

“The 138th Field Artillery provides a visual presence and acts as a third line of defense,” said 1st Lt. Daniel Van Horn, platoon leader of Charlie Battery, 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery.  

“Our unit provides back up and support for civilian security, law enforcement and other emergency responders,” he said. 

According to Van Horn, logistics was the hardest part of the unit’s mission. 

“Once the Kentucky Guard mobile command post was set up and logistics details were worked out, everything started running smoothly,” said Van Horn.

Kentucky Guardsman 1st Lt. Daniel Van Horn of Charlie Battery, 2nd 138th Field Artillery, works alongside representatives from various agencies in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Emergency Operations Center. The FBI EOC is the main hub for emergency information for 2010 World Equestrian Games at Lexington, Ky.

“The experiences you are a part of with the National Guard allows Soldiers to see and do things others will miss out on,” said Staff Sgt. Joseph Lyddane of the 138th Fires Brigade. 

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am glad to be here to see it,” said Lyddane, a Bardstown, Ky. native who shoes horses when he is not on duty serving with the Kentucky National Guard. 

Pfc. Justin Piercy, a member of Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery, is a corrections officer for Lexington-Fayette County.  He finds his assignment at the games rewarding.

“I have enjoyed the friendliness of the people I have met. A lot of people have come up to me to shake my hand and tell me how much they appreciate my service.  This has been a very good experience,” said Piercy.

Most of the Citizen-Soldiers involved with this mission were volunteers.  Almost all of them expressed a love of horses and real interest in being part of Kentucky’s modern history.

“I have enjoyed seeing all of the celebrities and royalty coming through,” said Pfc. Phillip Price of B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery.

“When I was younger, I use to do a lot with horses and I really enjoy seeing all of the different breeds coming through my post,” said Price.

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