206th Engineers deploy overseas

By Staff Sgt. Benjamin Crane, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Col. Joseph Gardner, commander of the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade speaks to Soldiers, families and friends of the 206th Engineer Battalion during a departure ceremony in Owensboro, Ky., July 25, 2019. More than 150 Soldiers of the 206th are scheduled to deploy to the Middle East for a year-long tour. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Crane)

OWENSBORO, Ky. — Hundreds of family and friends joined Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton and Kentucky National Guard leadership in a departure ceremony at the Owensboro Convention Center to say farewell to the 206th Engineer Battalion today who are scheduled to deploy to the Middle East for the next year.

“I am extremely confident in the abilities of each Soldier to accomplish our mission. We have worked hard over the last 20 months to prepare for this deployment and the dedication to mission accomplishment these Soldiers have shown is noteworthy,” said Lt. Col. Michael Lawson, commander for the 206th.

More than 150 Soldiers will be headed to the US Central Command Area of Operations to conduct construction mission in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

The feeling of readiness came from each Soldier, including the leader of one of the two companies attached to the 206th Engineers.

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“The Soldiers of the 206th have participated in a rigorous training schedule in the lead up to our mission. I can confidently say we are ready for the task at hand,” said Capt. G. Robert Meachem Jr., Headquarters Company commander.  “We are well prepared to uphold the stellar reputation of the Kentucky Army National Guard.”

The 206th mission while deployed will be managing construction and facilities maintenance projects focused on force protection across the region.

“The work you have done to prepare yourselves and to prepare each other has made a great team,” added Lawson. “I look forward to serving with each one of you.”

The unit was last deployed in 2006 to Kuwait during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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.