Michigan Army National Guard headed to Middle East deployment

The Michigan Army National Guard 156th Expeditionary Signal Battalion are gearing up for their first deployment.

LANSING, Mich. – Over the weekend, about 350 Michigan Army National Guard soldiers gathered at a high school gymnasium with their families for a sendoff ceremony.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Commander-in-Chief of the Michigan National Guard, addressed soldiers from the Michigan Army National Guard 156th Expeditionary Signal Battalion (ESB) at Howell High School on Saturday.

In two separate departure ceremonies, soldiers gathered with their families and invited guests at the Battle Creek Air National Guard Base and Howell High School as they prepared to depart for their deployment to the Middle East.

This will be the first deployment for the 156th ESB, which was established six years ago. Known by their slogan, ‘Nothing but Net’, the soldiers are anticipated to be deployed for up to a year.

“As our world yet again faces historic challenges, the Michigan National Guard is ready to support our nation as we continue to secure our safety through our presence overseas,” Whitmer said. “The Michiganders who serve our state and nation in uniform are the best of us. Their service and the sacrifices that their loved ones make keep us safe. They have our unwavering support as they embark on this new deployment, and we will continue supporting our military families here at home. ”

“We will be operating under Operation Spartan Shield and fall in with US Central Command (USCENTCOM),” said US Army Lt. Col. Samuel P. LaBara, commander of the 156th ESB. “We will be the backbone transmission for all network requirements and will enable uninterrupted mission command in CENTCOM, providing voice and data communications for units and operations within the region and contingency communications support.”

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