Kentucky MPs depart for Afghanistan

Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs staff report

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Kentucky’s adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini speaks to Soldiers of the 1103rd Military Police Detachment and their friends and family during a departure ceremony for the unit in Louisville, Ky., May 5, 2013. The unit will deploy to Afghanistan on a law and order mission and are scheduled to return in April of 2014. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Kentucky National Guard held a departure ceremony for the Soldiers of 1103rd Military Police Detachment (Law and Order) as
they prepare for a year-long deployment to Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Family and friends gathered on a weekend where the eyes of many nations are on the Commonwealth with the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby, to see their Soldiers leave for the other side of the world.

To see more photos from the departure ceremony, click here.

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Sgt. Craig Purbus of the 1103rd Military Police Detachment gives a stuffed bear to his niece during a departure ceremony for the unit in Louisville, Ky., May 5, 2013. Each child at the event received a deployment box filled with gifts and activities to help younger ones deal with a military deployment. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

The 1103rd is comprised of highly specialized Soldiers trained to conduct law enforcement missions, criminal investigations, traffic accident investigations and are certified by the Department of Homeland Security to provide customs duties.

“With the amount of experience of higher enlisted Soldiers and the motivation of the lower enlisted, I definitely think we are ready for this,” said Sgt. Tyler Offut. “This is a great mission, and everyone knows what it is and they are excited about doing it.”

“I believe we are very prepared,” said Pfc. Robert Markus. “I feel comfortable with my NCOs and I believe we have been ready for this for awhile.”

Leadership of the unit joined with Kentucky’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini in reminding the families that their Soldiers will be taken care. Monica Tolleson, mother of Sgt. Evelyn Plociennik has been through this before, saying farewell to her daughter, but knows she is only doing her job.

“It gets easier each time she deploys, ” said Tolleson. “She is very happy with what she does and I am very proud of her.”

In the past the 1103rd has also supported missions across the state ensuring the safety and security of the citizens of the Commonwealth. The unit last deployed overseas in 2004 to Iraq, where they helped train Iraqi police.

The 1103rd is scheduled to return home in April 2014.

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