More than 50 Army Reserve soldiers from the Las Vegas-based 314th Combat Service Support Battalion will be heading to Kuwait for about a year's deployment in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Army Reserve officials confirmed Thursday.
A farewell ceremony for the soldiers will be at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Jaycee Park on the corner of St. Louis and Eastern avenues, according to a statement from the 63rd Regional Readiness Command in Los Alamitos, Calif., which oversees Army Reserve units in the Southwest.
The soldiers are expected to leave about a week later for Camp Atterbury, Ind., before heading for Kuwait where they will manage a base camp. Their duties will include training verification of soldiers in the war zone and providing basic, life-support supplies for the base camp, said 1st Sgt. Michael Coffey, a full-time reservist.
He said their orders are cut for 400 days and it has not been determined whether the soldiers will pull duty in Iraq.
The 314th was activated in Las Vegas in January to provide logistical support for military transportation activities.
"Once again, Army Reserve soldiers have answered the call to leave home and family and join the fight to forge a stable government in Iraq by supporting American forces and soldiers. The 63rd joins all grateful Americans in thanking the soldiers and their families for their sacrifice in support of the war effort," Maj. Gen. Paul E. Mock, the 63rd Regional Readiness commander, said in a statement.
When the soldiers arrive in the Middle East, the total number of citizen-soldiers from Nevada serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom will be more than 400.
Currently in Iraq there are 150 soldiers from the Nevada Army National Guard's 593rd Transportation Company; 100 Nevada Army National Guard soldiers from the 1st/221st Cavalry; and 45 airmen from the Nevada Air National Guard's 152nd Airlift Wing and the 152nd Intelligence Squadron.
Another 16 soldiers from the Army Reserve's Las Vegas-based 948th Transportation Detachment left in April 2006 for a short training stint at Fort Bliss, Texas, that was followed by a year's "boots on the ground" deployment in Kuwait or Iraq to track transportation operations for field commanders.
The 314th includes several soldiers from other states including California, Arizona, Tennessee and Massachusetts.