New details on upcoming deployment of Vt. National Guard troops

Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 6:35 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 31, 2020 at 5:55 PM EDT
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COLCHESTER, Vt. (WCAX) - The Vermont National Guard will be deploying troops out of the country starting in October. This will be the largest deployment of the National Guard in the last 10 years-- the last of which was during the U.S. War with Afghanistan. Our Kiernan Brisson has more about this upcoming deployment.

The Vermont National Guard did not give me any specific locations but did mention that troops will be deployed to U.S. Command location in Central America, Europe and parts of Africa. Soldiers will consist of members from the Air Guard, the Army Guard Task Force and members of the Troop Command Law Enforcement detachment.

"We recently received mobilization orders for the first units, including Third Batallion, 172nd Infantry Mountain and the 172nd Law Enforcement Detachment," said Capt. Mikel Arcovitch, the spokesman for the Vermont National Guard.

The Vermont Army and Air Guard were told in 2019 to expect deployment orders for troops in the year 2021. Now they have officially received those orders for the first group deployment out of the country.

Lt. Col. Matthew Wignall if the Vt. Army National Guard said there will be more troops joining the mission after this initial deployment.

"Our unit is going to be the first of several deployments that'll leap out throughout the year in 2021, as part of the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team," Wignall said.

The Vermont National Guard expects to deploy nearly 1,000 soldiers and they expect to be abroad for a year's time.

"We have what we need here in the 3rd Batallion, 172 Infantry as far as resources, the training and the focus to make this a successful mission to us," Wignall said.

This will be the largest deployment in the last 10 years. The last large-scale deployment took place back in 2009 when Vermont troops were sent to Afghanistan in the midst of the war there.

The Vermont Air Guard will also be deploying troops starting in October of this year and more than 30 soldiers from the 172nd Law Enforcement Detachment will also serve outside the country.

"Starting in October more than 70 airmen from the 158th Fighter Wing will begin to deploy overseas," Vt. Air Guard Col. David Shevchik said.

"Law Enforcement Detachment is based out of Williston and is preparing to deploy 30 soldiers to the U.S.-European Command for 12 months," Vt. Air Guard Lt. Col. Doran Metzger said.

While we are not in times of war, the Vermont National Guard says soldiers will be deployed into active combat zones.

"It's a mission we're prepared for. It's a mission that's akin to our federal missions-- it's no change to what we do, habitually," Wignall said.

The Vermont National Guard expects to know more about future deployments in the coming months. Soldiers being deployed this year and at the start of next year have already begun training for their upcoming times of service.

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