Although the drawndown of troops in Afghanistan is bringing most American military personnel home with the expected end to U.S.-led combat operations in December, more citizen-soldiers from Nevada are being tasked with overseas deployments.
About 50 Nevada National Guard soldiers mostly from Northern Nevada held a deployment ceremony Thursday evening in Reno before they head to Egypt to be part of a peacekeeping coalition along the border with Israel.
The soldiers, including five from Las Vegas and two from Pahrump, are assigned to Headquarters Company of the 757th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. The company will provide command, control, administration and logistics support for the multinational peacekeeping force.
The unit is taking a chaplain, postal workers, mortuary affairs personnel and ammunition and explosives specialists for the mission, said Nevada Army National Guard spokesman Sgt. 1st Class Erick Studenicka.
Their deployment ceremony follows one held Aug. 24 at the Armed Forces Reserve Center at Nellis Air Force Base for 21 Army Reserve soldiers in the 948th Movement Control Team. The team left for a monthlong training stint at Fort Hood, Texas, before they go to Afghanistan to coordinate ground and air supply operations during the drawdown.
On Monday, another ceremony will be held for soldiers from the Nevada Guard’s 72nd Military Police Company who will head to Afghanistan in two waves of 30 each to provide security for high-ranking International Security Assistance Force officials.
Since the United States launched its war on terrorism after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the 72nd MPs have deployed to Iraq twice and once to provide security at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif.
In May, the Obama administration announced that the 32,000 U.S. personnel that were in Afghanistan would be cut to 9,800 at the start of 2015. U.S. military personnel peaked in 2011 at 101,000, the highest level since the U.S.-led invasion began in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
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