WATERLOO — Some soldiers in a Waterloo-based Iowa Army National Guard helicopter unit are headed overseas.
The Iowa Army National Guard has announced Detachment 1, Company C, 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion, will deploy as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Approximately 35 Iowa Army National Guard soldiers will be mobilized for this mission. The detachment has approximately 65 soldiers, Iowa National Guard Col. Greg Hapgood said. Most deployments today are approximately one year in duration, depending on the mission requirements. A community send-off ceremony for the detachment will be held at 10 a.m. Aug. 25 at the Waterloo Army Aviation Support Facility, 2245 W. Big Rock Road north of the Waterloo Regional Airport.
Local officials and Iowa National Guard leadership will participate, and the public is welcome and encouraged to attend the send-off ceremony.
Following the send-off ceremony they will report to their mobilization station at Fort Hood, Texas, for additional training and preparation before assignment to specific overseas locations in the U.S. Central Command theater of operation.
Central Command is comprised of 20 nations in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, including Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries. Aviation units fly missions throughout the theater of operations.
“It is anticipated that the soldiers will spend approximately nine months in theater,” Hapgood said.
The detachment provides “medevac” aerial medical evacuations via UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, supplying medical service and support for patients en route to combat support hospitals.
The unit, created in 2005, is comprised of the former Troops D, E and F of 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry, all of Waterloo.
In 2012, the unit was mobilized to support Operation Enduring Freedom in support of the global war on terrorism. They completed federal active duty in Afghanistan and returned to Iowa in June 2013.