ONTARIO, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A Company, 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment (Combined Arms Battalion) of the Oregon Army National Guard held a mobilization ceremony Sunday at the Ontario National Guard Armory for 16 soldiers, members of a tank unit deploying to Kuwait in coming months.
The soldiers will augment the 2nd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment from Idaho National Guard for a one-year deployment. The 16 are assigned to the same company and will leave soon for Fort Bliss, Texas, located near El Paso.
While in Kuwait, the deploying group will be part of Operation Spartan Shield, a joint mission under the U.S. Central Command, and part of Operation Enduring Freedom. OSS focuses on providing theater security, all while strengthening and building defense partner relationships in Southwest Asia.
The deploying soldiers are all tank crew members led by 1st Lt. Matthew Booher and Staff Sgt. James Hawley have been in training to prepare for this deployment.
Booher said, " We've been assigned to Bravo Company, 2-116 and participated with their battalion, drilling and operating with them for the past three or four months."
"The training is not complete," Hawley said, "and there is still more to do. We'll be at Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas, for two months and then to Kuwait, where we will fall in on our tanks."
The group of soldiers are all traditional Guard members who drill one weekend a month and train for two weeks annually, typically in the summer. Most are from surrounding communities and have full-time civilian employment, attend college, or are between jobs.