The Iowa National Guard 34th Infantry Division has received deployment orders for Operation Enduring Freedom in the United States Africa Command Area of Responsibility.
AFRICOM is responsible for U.S. military operations, exercises and security cooperation activities on the African continent, its island nations and surrounding waters.
This is the second of several deployments announced by Maj. Gen. Ben Corell, the Iowa National Guard adjutant general, during his Condition of the Guard address to the Iowa General Assembly in January.
It will involve about 90 soldiers from Troop C based in Le Mars. They will be joined by about 40 soldiers from Troop A, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, assigned to Camp Dodge in Johnston.
This is the third federal mobilization for Troop C since 2001. The troop previously deployed to Iraq in 2005 and Afghanistan in 2010.
Two weeks ago, the “Ironman” Battalion from Eastern Iowa received deployment orders for Operation Spartan Shield in the U.S. Central Command.
Col. Mike Wunn, Guard spokesman, said the deployment mobilizes about 550 soldiers from National Guard armories in Charles City, Davenport, Dubuque, Iowa City, Iowa Falls, Oelwein and Waterloo.
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Their primary mission, he said, will involve security and protection. That potentially encompasses 27 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The Iowa National Guard is experiencing an increase in deployments as a number of its units come into their “mission year” as part of the U.S. Army’s force generation cycle. Additional mobilization announcements are expected soon.