A sendoff ceremony is set for Sunday for around 160 soldiers from the 1133rd Transportation Company.

The soldiers from Mason City and Iowa City will eventually deploy to Poland in support of Operation European Assure, Deter and Reinforce. Staff Sergeant Duane Parizek of Clutier has been in the Iowa National Guard for 16 years, and nine years ago, the unit he was assigned to deployed to Afghanistan.

“We’ll be hauling supplies around Europe completing the mission that way versus my last time around I was a mechanic for a unit doing route clearance out looking for IEDs. So for me, this is a completely different experience from that one to this one,” he says. “I was at a lower level in the unit and I did not realize how much effort and time and everything else that was tied into getting in a unit like this to be able to move overseas”

The 1133rd was used to haul supplies during the first several months of the COVID-19 pandemic. “For those that stayed on it for the long haul really it has kind of set them up for success for this,” he says. “Knowing how to convoy knowing how to read their paperwork of what they’re delivering and where they’re delivering it to. It was rough on those of us that weren’t on that mission losing our equipment for that period of time.”

The sendoff ceremony will be held Sunday at 9 a-m at the All Seasons Building on the grounds of the North Iowa Events Center in Mason City.

(By Brian Fancher, KLMJ, Hampton)

Radio Iowa