Nearly 400 Iowans are preparing to head overseas, the largest deployment of the Iowa Army National Guard since 2010.

Colonel Greg Hapgood, Jr., of the National Guard's public affairs office located at Camp Dodge in Johnston, announced 390 members of the Iowa Army National Guard will be deployed. According to the Des Moines Register, they could be sent to Afghanistan, Iraq, North Africa, or other countries.

All 390 soldiers are part of the 248th Aviation Support Battalion. They're based in Waterloo, Davenport, Muscatine, and Boone. Soldiers from Wisconsin, Louisiana, Maryland, and Tennessee are also being prepared to deploy. They'll report to Fort Hood, Texas at the end of September for more training, ahead of their overseas assignment. Hapgood expects them to be in Texas for two to two-and-a-half months, before a nine to ten-month overseas deployment.

Send-off ceremonies for the soldiers will take place on September 29. Here is specific information for individual cities:

  • Waterloo: 2 p.m. at the UNI West Gym (2501 Minnesota St. in Cedar Falls). Approximately 105 soldiers.
  • Muscatine: 10 a.m. at the Iowa National Guard Readiness Center (5801 Grandview Ave. in Muscatine). Approximately 30 soldiers.
  • Davenport: 10 a.m. at the Davenport Army Aviation Support Facility (9650 N. Harrison St. in Davenport). Approximately 75 soldiers.
  • Boone: 5 p.m. at the Iowa Boone High School gym (500 7th St. in Boone). Approximately 180 soldiers.

We wish these Iowa men and women and their families the very best as they prepare to leave home and during their deployment. Thank you for your service!


[Des Moines Register]