Jefferson City unit deploys to Afghanistan
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Saying goodbye and hoping for a safe return, 10 Jefferson-City based soldiers deployed Saturday after a ceremony with friends and family.
Members of Detachment 40, Task Force ODIN, part of the Operational Support Airlift Command of the Missouri National Guard, deployed Saturday after a departure ceremony attended by families, friends and area elected officials. The 10-soldier detachment will deploy to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan for nine months, where soldiers will perform 24-hour flight operations and combat missions to assist in gathering intelligence for the operational force and tactical units.
“You’ve got an important mission,” said Maj. Gen. Steve Danner.
Danner said it would take teamwork to succeed in Afghanistan, especially as the United States withdraws its forces. He said as fewer soldiers are deployed and remaining in Afghanistan, more work and more burdens would fall on the shoulders of the soldiers preparing to deploy Saturday.
Danner urged soldiers to maintain steady communication with their families while deployed, asking families to make the same promise of continued communication.
“It means a lot to hear from home on a regular basis,”
Danner said. “We know you deploy right along with them ... that is just as important.”
The Jefferson City-based detachment will lead six or seven other state contingents in their mission, which Gov. Jay Nixon said was a testament to the confidence the nation has in the Missouri National Guard, or as he called it “the country’s most outstanding state National Guard.”
“We will be leading in this international mission,” Nixon said. “The people of your state are giving you their wholehearted support.”
Rep. Mike Bernskoetter thanked the deploying soldiers for their sacrifices, including spending significant amounts of time away from families and friends.
“America is the great nation it is today because of men and women like you,” Bernskoetter said. “We will miss you and we will pray for your safe return.”
Jefferson City Mayor Eric Struemph said soldiers display a “devotion to America like no other,” and noted that the securities and freedoms enjoyed by citizens are a result of the country’s veterans and active duty soldiers.
More like this story
Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.
Please review our Policies and Procedures before registering or commenting