MADISON, Wisconsin (NEWS RELEASE) - The Prairie du Chien community will join Wisconsin leaders, families and friends in honoring approximately 150 Afghanistan-bound Wisconsin National Guardsmen during a sendoff ceremony Saturday [Aug. 25], 1 p.m., at the Prairie Du Chien High School, 800 East Crawford Street, Prairie Du Chien, Wis.
Festivities will begin at approximately noon when local police, firefighters and members of the Patriot Guard will escort the Platteville and Prairie Du Chien-based 229th Engineer Company and Tomah-based 106th Quarry Detachment Soldiers from the Prairie Du Chien armory to the local high school for the formal send-off.
Following the brief ceremony the Soldiers will depart for Fort Bliss, Texas for approximately 45 days of mobilization training before deploying to the Kandahar Province where they will perform engineer construction missions.
The 229th is a subordinate unit of the 724th Engineer Battalion, 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade and most recently deployed in 2003. Approximately 165 soldiers spent 14 months at Camp Speicher, Iraq, where they provided engineer support to coalition forces and also helped rebuild Iraqi infrastructure, including runway construction, built traffic control points and forward operating bases, maintained main supply routes, and provided force protection and project oversight for Iraqi-contracted building projects.
The 106th Quarry Detachment, also a subordinate unit of the 724th Engineer Battalion, last mobilized in 2003. The then Ashland-based unit prepared to deploy overseas to operate their rock crushing machine at quarry sites where they would make gravel for road construction. Their mission however, changed while at mobilization station when the Army ordered them to Fort Lewis, Wash., where they supported the Army's Reserve Officer Training Corps advanced camp, which is the final step before the Army's ROTC cadets from around the country receive their commissions as second lieutenants.
Many of the deploying Guardsmen are among the more than 13,000 Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers and Airmen who have deployed in support of the global war on terrorism since September 11, 2001, many more than once.
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