Scores of Nevada Army National Guard soldiers, including those from Pahrump, are leaving friends and family behind for a nine-month mission in Eastern Europe.
The 70 soldiers of the 757th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion took part in a mobilization ceremony Friday, Jan. 3 at the Washoe County Armory in Reno before departing to Poland and nearby Baltic countries, where they will provide logistical support for U.S. and partner forces.
Lt. Col. Dave Evans, who heads the battalion, said the Nevada soldiers will be responsible for command and control of a wide range of supply operations supporting deployment and redeployment operations under a mission collectively known as Operation Atlantic Resolve.
“It’s all in the preparation, and we spent a lot of time bonding over the last 18 months,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday after the ceremony attended by hundreds of well-wishers, including the Guard’s adjutant general, Brig. Gen. Ondra Berry, Gov. Steve Sisolak and first lady Kathy Sisolak.
“We’re a team of teams, and we do have non-negotiables for the leaders and one of them is always safety. We don’t do anything that is going to result in an injury to a soldier. It’s not necessary,” Evans said.
The action is the first time the Guard will have four units deployed simultaneously since 2010, and its 43rd major deployment since 9/11. Currently, the Guard has four units deployed involving more than 200 soldiers across the Middle East and Asia. In August, 27 guardsmen deployed for a 10-month mission in Afghanistan.
“With units on three continents, one can say the sun never completely sets on the NV Guard Soldiers around the world,” Sisolak posted on Twitter after Friday’s ceremony. “I wish the 757th Godspeed during their final weeks of training in Texas and during these next months while they are stationed abroad. Thank you for your service.”
The First Lady & I were honored to attend the @NVNationalGuard mobilization ceremony in Carson for 70 soldiers from the 757th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion who are being deployed to Poland & Baltic countries to provide logistical support for US & partner nations. 1/5 pic.twitter.com/144RqhQoRW
— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) January 3, 2020
The 757th Battalion underwent field, classroom and weapons training in preparation for its upcoming mission. By Sunday, they will arrive at a mobilization station in Fort Hood, Texas, to get outfitted with cold-weather gear and undergo a final training exercise and readiness validation before shipping out.
In Poland, the battalion will join five other companies, including Army National Guard and Army Reserves from Michigan, Illinois and Puerto Rico, and two active-duty companies stationed in Germany.
About 10 of the 70 departing soldiers are from Las Vegas, Pahrump and Arizona, Evans said. The others come from all over Nevada with the exception of one Californian from San Francisco.