S.D. Guard soldiers to deploy to IraqThe South Dakota National Guard says soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 147th Field Artillery and the 147th Forward Support Company were notified over the weekend of a one-year deployment for a security force mission in Iraq.
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota National Guard says soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 147th Field Artillery and the 147th Forward Support Company were notified over the weekend of a one-year deployment for a security force mission in Iraq.
The Guard said the units will mobilize more than 460 Soldiers in April to conduct the mission. The unit is to report to Fort Bliss, Texas, for training before deployment.
Headquarters and Headquarters Section, 1st Battalion, 147th Field Artillery is in Watertown and Sisseton. Battery A is in Aberdeen and Battery C is in Yankton. The 147th Forward Support Company is in Mitchell, Sioux Falls and Webster. This past weekend, more than 150 soldiers of Charlie Battery and several other units were in Yankton for pre-mobilization training.
that focused on certification in combat lifesaver training.
“We are teaching first aid for basic injuries as well as some more advanced stuff,” said Spc. Darcy Mongeau. “We are teaching them how to handle the common things they would come across in a combat zone, lifesaving skills that would most likely be used to prevent a death in a combat zone.”
Approximately four of every five of the soldiers who attended the training have spent time in active duty.
The units have more training scheduled in the upcoming months to prepare for their mobilization.
The soldiers and their families are still recovering from the last deployment and now face another. The 147th returned home Sept. 30, 2006.
“Right now I am just getting myself mentally prepared, getting my home and family ready for me to be gone another year,” Sgt. James Reinhardt said.
“When I left last time, my youngest was not talking. I came home and she was talking and walking. She is fully aware of what is going on right now. She sees me pulling gear out, she sees me getting ready, she has even drawn pictures of me going to Iraq. My second youngest is a daddy’s girl and she is taking it really tough. My wife is better prepared for it.
“I am not looking forward to being gone a third time, but it is what we do. I would rather go do it there than have it come here.”
Staff Sgt. Brooks Schild credited the employers of National Guard soldiers. “We couldn’t do this without the employers because a soldier has to come back to a job,” he said.
“If people are worried about us, we are doing everything we can. We are training as hard as we can. We are getting the best equipment we can. We are doing it the best we can like only a South Dakotan can.”
The South Dakota National Guard says more than 220 soldiers and airmen are on duty in Iraq.
Information from: Yankton Press and Dakotan, http://www.yankton.net/