TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – A departure ceremony for approximately 100 Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen was held this week as soldiers prepare to deploy overseas in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
The guardsmen with Bravo Company, 834th Aviation Support Battalion, 90th Troop Command, are expected to provide aviation maintenance support in multiple places throughout the Central Command area of operation, including Kuwait and Iraq, later this year.
On Sunday, a departure ceremony was held for the soldiers and their loved ones at the OKARNG Army Aviation Support Facility 2 in Tulsa.
The soldiers left for Fort Hood, Texas, where they will meet with the 834th’s contingents from Minnesota and Michigan, and complete their mobilization training together.
According to the Oklahoma Army National Guard, each soldier focused on areas ranging from basic warrior tasks to hands-on training and had to meet certain criteria as both individuals and a unit before moving onto the post-mobilization phase at Fort Hood.
Once training is complete in Texas, the soldiers will deploy overseas for a nearly year-long deployment.
While deployed, the soldiers will perform field-level aviation maintenance support to a brigade-size Army aviation element throughout Kuwait and Iraq. operations.
“We support the entire combat aviation brigade while we’re overseas, so that’s many, many airframes to include air assault, MEDEVAC (medical evacuation) and heavy lift,” said Maj. Jonathan Naber, commander of Bravo Company. “What we do inevitably saves lives in the end, because we’re doing everything the right way in putting a helicopter back together.”
The Oklahoma Army National Guard says the aircraft are a key component of the ground commander’s ability to project lethal force and improve combat power.
“This last year has been a big testament to the type of people we have and the training they’ve put in on their off time and their personal time to make this thing go,” said Naber. “The cool part is I’ve been able to build the team the last three years and now I actually get to take them overseas to do the mission.”