Ten Mitchell soldiers with battalion based in Brookings headed to IraqTen Mitchell soldiers deployed with the 139th Brigade Support Battalion on Wednesday for a one-year tour in Iraq.
By: Anna Jauhola, The Daily Republic
Ten Mitchell soldiers deployed with the 139th Brigade Support Battalion on Wednesday for a one-year tour in Iraq.
The battalion is located in Brookings and left for Fort Hood, Texas, in early June to train for the mission.
About 64 soldiers will join U.S. forces in Iraq to provide maintenance, supply and transportation support to special operations command units throughout the country, according to a South Dakota National Guard press release.
Mitchell soldiers in the group include Sgt. Kelly Burmeister, Master Sgt. Melvin Eilts Jr., Spc. Rhett Eilts, Spc. David Fuegen, Staff Sgt. Gregory Kock, Spc. Christopher Murray, Staff Sgt. Dennis Schley, Spc. Jordon Sehnert, Sgt. John Schmidt and Spc. Steven Skinner.
“We are looking forward to the challenge of supplying these units throughout the entire theater. We are a relatively small unit and have a large area of responsibility,” said Lt. Col. Anthony Verchio, commander of the 139th Forward Logistics Element, in the release.
The unit trained for nearly two months at Fort Hood. Once the soldiers arrive in Iraq, they will be stationed in three locations, which is common for National Guard units, said Capt. Anthony Deiss, deputy public affairs officer for the South Dakota National Guard.
“The soldiers will participate in a battle handoff, which is about a two-week process,” Deiss said.
During that time, the soldiers will learn the roles and responsibilities they will assume from their previous counterparts.
“This mission is an opportunity to really showcase the talents and capabilities of the South Dakota National Guard soldier,” Verchio said. “It will also provide us with an opportunity to work with the best soldiers the U.S. military has to offer.”