“Approximately 60 Soldiers from the Iowa Army National Guard’s 185th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion will be mobilized in the very near future. They will actually depart Iowa on May 8th, with a sendoff ceremony at 11:30 on May 8th,” Hapgood says. “The battalion leave Iowa and head for their mobilization station at Fort Hood, Texas for additional training before heading overseas.”
The guard members provide a variety of support to other soldiers. “This unit’s expertise is in the area of logistics. They command and control logistical units and provide things like maintenance, transportation, supplies, those types of things in the theater of operation,” Hapgood explains.
He says the 60 soldiers will bring the total number from Iowa deployed to somewhere in the area of 150 and 160. Hapgood says this unit is typical of the types of call ups the Iowa National Guard now sees.
“It’s been several years since the Iowa National Guard has had a large number of soldiers and units deployed,” Hapgood says. “Pretty much the new normal is you’ll see smaller numbers, smaller kind of specialize units that will be chosen for selected missions, and also individual soldiers selected for individual missions. For the time being, the larger deployments aren’t occurring right now.”
All Iowans are invited to see the soldiers off. “The sendoff on May 8th at 11:30 at the Des Moines airbase is open to the public. And we’d love to have as many community members as possible come out to wish these soldiers well and send them on their way,” Hapgood says.
The 185th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion last deployed in 2010-11 for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and in 2003-04 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. The unit also assisted in the 2013 Presidential inauguration and provided support for Hurricane Gustav relief efforts in Louisiana (2008).