Major General Benny M. Paulino, Adjutant General of the Guam National Guard, last week announced that the 1-294th Infantry Regiment and F Company, 29th Brigade Support Battalion, received mobilization orders for their deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, effective for early next year.
“The mobilization order solidifies what our battalion will be doing, provides the funding and authority for the mobilized unit to move from home station forward, and locks in the number of soldiers assigned to the mission,” said Paulino.
Guam National Guard senior leaders are currently working with the Department of the Army on the specific mission, number of soldiers, deployment date, and deployment location which will be announced at a later date. Close to 600 soldiers are slated to deploy as part of the battalion.
“The coming weeks and months will be a critical period for our soldiers in the battalion and F Company, as well as a highly emotional time for their families. Our island community has already demonstrated their strong support for our soldiers and their families with the units that have previously deployed. I am certain we will see that same degree of support.”
“And as we continue to prepare our soldiers for this upcoming deployment, I can assure the people of Guam that our soldiers will be well-prepared and highly trained, to be ready to go and accomplish their mission. Here at home, we will be committing all the resources at our disposal, to ensure our deployed soldiers families are provided all the support they need,” Paulino said.
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Tougher, commander of the 1-294th IN RGT, said the official release of the battalion's mobilization order will help his soldiers continue with their preparation for the pending deployment.
“The 1st battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment and the Guam National Guard have been working hard to ensure that our soldiers are trained and equipped to safely perform the units upcoming mission in Afghanistan. The recent publishing of the unit's mobilization order helps to ensure that resources will continue to be available as we work to ensure that our soldiers receive the very best preparation the Army can provide,” he stated.
The unit received a “Notification of Sourcing” on April 2011 and was told to prepare for a possible deployment to Afghanistan in 2013. Last April, the battalion received an official “Alert Order” which allowed the unit to ramp up training for possible deployment.
The 1-294th IN RGT is composed of soldiers from Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
The activation of the 1-294th IN RGT can be considered as the largest group of reserve component troops to be mobilized and deployed from Guam.