Largest Mobilization of Kentucky Guard troops since WW II

KEH

Story and photos by: Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

The 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade prepares for training at the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center, August 2010.

 

FRANKFORT, KY (November 11, 2010) — In the largest mobilization of Kentucky National Guard troops since World War II, the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB) received its mobilization orders for Operation New Dawn in Iraq. Over 1,350 Soldiers from across the commonwealth are scheduled to report to their respective armories in June 2011.

“Deploying is not a new concept to the men and women of this brigade,” said Col. Scott Campbell, 149th MEB Commander. “Many have deployed multiple times since 9/11. Although it is never easy to leave families, friends, jobs, and communities, with the support of the citizens of the Commonwealth our Soldiers are committed to seeing this historic mission to a successful conclusion.”

While in Iraq the Kentucky National Guard Soldiers will work alongside troops from Virginia and Utah conducting security force, base defense operations and convoy security operations throughout the United States Forces-Iraq area of responsibility. With all three states combined the total strength of the brigade will exceed 2,600.

“The 149th makes up about 30 percent of our fighting force,” said Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, Adjutant General for Kentucky. “This brigade is spread throughout our commonwealth and their departure will no doubt be felt by the local communities and, most importantly, our military families. I know our troops will be fully supported and encouraged as they’re serving our country overseas with the Unbridled Service that we have all come to expect.”

Despite the large number of troops taking part in the deployment, Tonini does not anticipate any drop in the Kentucky Guard’s operational readiness here at home. “We will always be able to respond to the needs of the commonwealth in a crisis,” he said.

Once mobilized, the 149th MEB will be nicknamed ‘Task Force Legion’ to honor the Louisville Legion. “Designating this brigade as Task Force Legion,” Col. Campbell commented, “provides us the opportunity to recognize the great tradition of support Louisville has provided us in time of disaster and conflict as well as those that have served honorably before us.”

Commenting on the sacrifice that the Kentucky National Guard troops are making, Governor Steve Beshear said “I’m proud of our troops as they represent our Commonwealth with distinction and honor. We will keep them in our thoughts and prayers as they embark to selflessly and bravely serve our nation.”

Since September 11, 2001 nearly 14,000 Kentucky National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have deployed in support of the Global War on Terror. The Kentucky National Guard currently has more than 300 troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the globe.

A Soldier from the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade trains at the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center, August 2010.

Soldiers from the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade train at the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center, August 2010.

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