Ten Army Reserve soldiers from Iowa will be leaving soon for Afghanistan. The reservists from Des Moines, Ankeny and other communities are part of the 372nd Engineer Brigade based in Fort Snelling, Minnesota. Army Reserve spokesman Captain Bill Geddes says the soldiers will oversee all engineering assets within Afghanistan:
“That operation is going to include construction, route clearance missions, and everything from building military facilities to bridge and road design…basically just rebuilding the Afghani infrastructure,” Geddes said. The mission will also include clearing landmines from roadways.
“If there’s a road that has mines that’s not safe and hasn’t been cleared, they’ll clear that road,” Geddes said. Geddes says it’s the first deployment for the newly-formed engineering brigade. The soldiers will leave for Afghanistan after training at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.
A spokesperson with the Iowa National Guard expects that eventually its units will also be deployed to Afghanistan since the Pentagon has shifted its focus from Iraq.