The Iowa National Guard is holdings a sendoff ceremony Sunday in Boone for 50 soldiers leaving on deployment to Afghanistan. Lieutenant Colonel Greg Hapgood says the soldiers will report immediately to their mobilization station at Fort Riley, Kansas for additional training and preparation before heading to Afghanistan
Hapgood says the soldiers are from three main units, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division in Boone; the Joint Forces Headquarters at Camp Dodge; the 1st Battalion, 194th Field Artillery from Fort Dodge, Estherville, Algona, and Storm Lake.
Hapgood says the Iowa soldiers will train members of the Afghan army. He says they make up three separate teams that will provide instruction in things such as infantry tactics, logistics, and other types of support skills. Hapgood says the encourage anyone who’s interested to turn out and send off the soldiers.
Hapgood says the sendoff starts at 10:30 and is open to the public. The soldiers will be deployed for 18 months and that will bring the total number of Iowa Guard soldiers on active duty to around 850.