Iowa National Guard units to deploy overseas
Deployments expected to last a year
Multiple Iowa Army National Guard units, including soldiers from the Fort Dodge armory, will deploy overseas in the coming months, the Iowa National Guard announced Wednesday.
The deployments are part of the U.S. Army’s ongoing operational requirements.
About 330 soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 194th Field Artillery, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, will deploy in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. Central Command is made up of 20 nations in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, including Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries.
The 1-194th Field Artillery includes units in Iowa and Minnesota. Its Headquarters and Headquarters Battery is located in Fort Dodge.
The deploying Iowa Army National Guard soldiers will depart from armories in Spencer, Estherville, Charles City, Fort Dodge and Johnston.
About 70 Minnesota Army National Guard soldiers assigned to Battery C, 1st Battalion, 194th Field Artillery, will deploy from Alexandria, Minnesota. Those deployments are anticipated to occur in July.
An additional 400 Iowa National Guard soldiers received mobilization orders to support NATO’s ongoing Kosovo Force mission in the Republic of Kosovo.
These deployments represent the Iowa National Guard’s largest mobilization in support of KFOR since it first mobilized units there in 2004.
Iowa units identified to support this mission include:
• Headquarters, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, Sioux City
• Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, Johnston
• Headquarters, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Boone
• Company D (MI), 224th Brigade Engineer Battalion, Johnston
• 334th Brigade Support Battalion, Cedar Rapids
• 135th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Johnston
Most of these units have mobilized previously in support of overseas contingency operations including deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo.
These units have worked to increase readiness over the last several years in preparation for these deployments, the National Guard reported.
In July 2019, the units participated in an eXportable Combat Training Capability exercise designed to train soldiers and certify them on their military proficiencies.
The Iowa National Guard will hold send-off ceremonies for these units in August and September.
The soldiers will then travel to their mobilization station at Fort Bliss, Texas, to complete final training and readiness checks before deploying overseas.
These deployments are anticipated to last about one year.