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Michigan Army National Guard Soldiers from Charlotte deploy in support of Operation New Dawn

September 13, 2010

LANSING, MICH. - Friends and family will bid farewell to approximately 70 Michigan Army National Guard Soldiers from the Charlotte-based Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion 119th Field Artillery on Tuesday, Sept. 14 as they depart for Fort McCoy, Wisc., and then Iraq for a 12-month tour of duty.

Soldiers from HHB 1-119th FA will train for approximately 60 days at Fort McCoy before deploying to Camp Virginia, Kuwait to conduct missions in Iraq. Upon arrival in Kuwait, they will establish command and control of subordinate units providing security for movement and support of U.S. forces in Iraq.

The unit will depart from the Armory on South Cochran and proceed through downtown Charlotte to Lawrence Avenue and then on State Street passing the schools. Mike Smith of the VFW, Maple City Post is organizing escorts from the Legion Riders, Patriot Riders, Proud Vets, and Leathernecks.

The 119th FA "Red Lions" have a rich history serving proudly in the Civil War, War with Spain in Santiago, World War I, World War II, most recently in 2004 at Guantanamo Bay Cuba supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, and in 2005 at Forward Operating Base Abu Ghraib supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. During its last deployment the unit received the Meritorious Unit Citation from the Department of the Army.

Today, more than 600 Michigan National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are deployed across the globe in support of the global war on terrorism; however, as the Michigan Guard serves the nation abroad, more than 90 percent of the force is available, trained and ready to respond to a state emergency including a terrorist event.

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MEDIA ADVISORY:
The departure ceremony will be held Tuesday, Sept. 14th, at 9 a.m., at the Eaton County Fairgrounds grandstands, 1025 S. Cochran Ave., Charlotte, Mich. 48813. Parade through downtown Charlotte at 10 a.m.

Media is invited to attend the deployment ceremony. Soldiers and family members will be available for interviews approximately one hour prior to the ceremony.

For more information, contact Senior Airman Matt Mohundro at 517-231-7260.