Kentucky MPs deploy to Afghanistan

By Maj. Gus LaFontaine, Kentucky National Guard

Soldiers with the 1103rd Military Police Law and Order Detachment are honored during a departure ceremony in Ft. Knox, Ky., Apr. 13, 2019. Soldiers with the 1103rd will conduct law enforcement missions, criminal investigations, traffic accident investigations and customs duties during the deployment to Afghanistan. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. Gus LaFontaine)

FORT KNOX, Ky. — The Law and Order Detachment of the 1103rd Military Police gathered in Ft. Knox April 13 to conduct a departure ceremony for an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

The unit will deploy for the third time since Sept. 11, 2001. Approximately 20 members of the Kentucky Army National Guard unit will conduct law enforcement missions, criminal investigations, traffic accident investigations and customs duties during the deployment.

Capt. Chris McGhee, commander of the Ft. Knox-based unit, spoke about the unit’s greatest strength. “Our strongest quality is that we’re small so we’re very close. We treat everything we do as a family. We’ve got great senior leadership that works with our Soldiers.”

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The group recently returned from Ft. Bliss, Texas where they completed pre-mobilization training. McGhee spoke about the readiness of the 1103rd. “We’re ready to go. By the end of our training exercises, we were working as a strong, cohesive unit. It makes me feel that we are right where we need to be to complete this mission.”

Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan recognized family and friends in attendance by acknowledging that they likely feel a tremendous loss as they say goodbye to their Soldiers. Hogan said, “That feeling is counterbalanced by the pride that you may feel as your loved ones stand the gap between the American way of life and chaos.”

He added, “We’ve got a professional unit that’s going to represent the Army, is going to represent the Guard, is going to represent Kentucky exceptionally well. This is the right unit for the right purpose.”

McGhee displayed confidence that the detachment can measure up to the trust of Hogan.

“We will do everything to help our Soldiers be successful.”

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the Kentucky National Guard has mobilized more than 18,000 Soldiers and Airmen in support of the Global War on Terror.