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KY National Guard unit, 613th Engineer Facility Detachment, departs for Middle East for year

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

A small Kentucky National Guard unit was joined by family, friends and Guard leadership last week as they departed for a year-long deployment to the Middle East.

Around 20 members of the Springfield-based 613th Engineer Facility Detachment heard from Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan, Kentucky’s adjutant general.

“The infrastructure you will build up will help stabilize the region,” he said.  “At the same time, you are emissaries of war, you are emissaries of peace.  I am proud of you.”

This small Kentucky National Guard unit left for a year-long deployment to the Middle East (Kentucky Today/Tom Latek)

The unit will assume responsibility as the Directorate of Public Works, charged with ensuring the stability of facilities and environment practices on all installations throughout their area of operation.  They will provide engineer area support and short and long-range facility work plans among other tasks. The soldiers will work directly for U.S. Army Central Command authority for their duration overseas.

“You have expertise that is in high demand,” said Col. Alexander Stewart, commander of the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade. “Family, I assure you they are ready for the job they’re going to do.”

The unit has already completed extensive pre-mobilization training stateside and in Europe to prepare for the mission. Lt. Col. Scott Thomas, the commander of the 613th, is looking forward to the opportunity to get to work and show what his Soldiers can do.

“I am privileged to command this unit for its upcoming mission and very proud of each unit member and how they’ve professionally trained for the assignment,” said Thomas. “We will weather whatever obstacles that come our way, because we have success in our hearts.” 

The soldiers will first head to Texas for final training, before heading overseas. 

The 613th last deployed in 2012 to Afghanistan where they trained and advised Afghan National Army Engineers in facility sustainment and assisted in the transition of more than 2,800 facilities to the supervision of the Afghan Army.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the Kentucky National Guard has mobilized more than 18,000 soldiers and airmen in support of the Global War on Terror.

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