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Six Wyoming Army National Guard units set to head to Middle East in largest deployment in nearly a decade

Six Wyoming Army National Guard units set to head to Middle East in largest deployment in nearly a decade

Wyoming National Guard

Spc. Austin Paulsen and Sgt. Daniel Ingram of the Wyoming Army National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 300th Field Artillery, assemble night vision equipment in September at Camp Guernsey Joint Training Center. The soldiers are set to deploy in 2019 and perform their standard mission within a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System unit. 

Roughly 300 soldiers from six Wyoming Army National Guard units will deploy to the Middle East between January and September 2019, the state announced.

The deployments are the largest number of Wyoming troops sent overseas since 700 deployed nearly a decade ago; that entire force came from one singular unit. The units set to deploy in the next 12 months will include artillery and Blackhawk medical evacuation units, state Military Department spokeswoman Deidre Forster said last week.

Each deployment will last roughly nine months, she said, but one artillery unit that will head out in May will likely be there for roughly a year.

It’s unclear where exactly the units will be deployed. Forster said they will be under the umbrella of the U.S. Central Command, whose area of responsibility includes Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

In a statement, Lt. Col. Charles Thompson, Wyoming’s mobilization readiness officer, said the units would be performing their “standard missions.” Forster said that the helicopter medical evacuation units — often shortened to medevacs — will be in and out of combat roles.

Forster said the deployment isn’t part of a broader push nationwide, but more that was it the Wyoming units’ “turn.”

The guardsmen come from across the state, according to the press release, though much of the helicopter unit comes from southeastern Wyoming. The artillery unit that will deploy in May, the 2nd battalion of the 300th field artillery regiment, is the largest unit and consists of soldiers largely from Casper, Gillette and Lander.

According to an article written on an armed services news site, the forward commander of the artillery unit told his “120 soldiers” that “we’re going to deliver rockets first class to the enemy.”

Follow education reporter Seth Klamann on Twitter @SethKlamann


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Education and Health Reporter

Seth Klamann joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 and covers education and health. A 2015 graduate of the University of Missouri and proud Kansas City native, Seth worked for newspapers in Milwaukee and Omaha before coming to Casper.

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