Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

142nd Engineers heading to Kuwait

After more than two months of training, waiting and speculating in Fort Carson, Colo., one of North Dakota's largest National Guard units is headed to the Middle East.

After more than two months of training, waiting and speculating in Fort Carson, Colo., one of North Dakota's largest National Guard units is headed to the Middle East.

The 675 members of the 142nd Engineer Combat Battalion have officially been assigned to Kuwait. The projected date of deployment changes regularly, but the most likely scenario now has the group leaving in mid-April, the battalion's commander, Lt. Col. Dave Anderson, said Monday.

The news at Fort Carson was welcomed by some as an end to the limbo that began Jan. 20 when the unit was activated.

"The mood is kind of mixed," said Capt. Charlene Sylvester of Fargo. "We feel that the sooner we get there the sooner we'll be able to come home."

When the 142nd leaves depends on the availability of transport aircraft and how smoothly the deployment of the Army's 4th Infantry Division goes. The division, which the 142nd supports, has ships containing equipment within days of Kuwaiti ports.

ADVERTISEMENT

Exactly where in Kuwait the 142nd is headed is classified, said Rob Keller, a spokesman for the North Dakota Army National Guard. Once they arrive, the troops might not stay long at their original destination. Units will go wherever they're needed, Keller said. The 142nd's order comes with reports of 100,000 extra troops being deployed to Iraq. The number of U.S. and allied forces now in the Persian Gulf region exceeds 290,000.

The 142nd is the first of North Dakota's National Guard units to get an order of deployment. The battalion, which pulls its troops from eastern North Dakota and around Camp Ripley, Minn., specializes in building roads, runways, hospitals, clinics and other buildings. Its heavy equipment was sent out by rail in mid-February.

When the 142nd lands in Kuwait it will be attached to the Army's 130th Engineer Brigade and 5th Corps, Sylvester said.

Jeanie Moor, vice president of the 142nd family support group, said morale at Fort Carson was high when she left Monday after a weekend visit with her husband, Sgt. Cory Moor.

"They're ready to go," she said. "They're anxious to go over there and do their job."

Moor said she expected family members to begin seeking more support from her group once the 142nd leaves for overseas. The group's next meeting is April 12 at the Fargo armory.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Forster at (701) 241-5538

What To Read Next
Nonprofit hospitals are required to provide free or discounted care, also known as charity care; yet eligibility and application requirements vary across hospitals. Could you qualify? We found out.
Columnist Carol Bradley Bursack explains the differences between Alzheimer's, dementia and other common forms of dementia.
While the United States government gave help to businesses and people, a lack of assistance has left some Chinese citizens angry and destitute.
Having these procedures available closer to home will make a big difference for many in the region.