(LINTON) - Plans for the anticipated upcoming deployment of Linton-based Indiana Army National Guard Company A, 1-151st Combat Team - The Avengers - have changed.
Nick Schneider, of The Greene County Daily World, reports the National Guard unit will not be shipping out for training exercises in July in preparation for a fall deployment to Afghanistan.
"There have been some significant changes to our mission in the last seven days. We were given notification that we were officially off-ramped from our mobilization to Afghanistan on May 30. We are still awaiting an official DA Mobilization framentary order that stands us down, however, we expect that to come in the next several weeks,"
Commander First Lt. Adam Balbach told the Greene County Daily World on Wednesday night. "No follow-on or alternate mission has been assigned to the 1-151 Infantry Battalion at this time. We are currently working through the issues of preparing our soldiers for whatever their military career holds next for them and doing our best to soften the impact that might come from any personal decisions soldiers made as a result of expecting to deploy. We want to ensure the adjustment period to the mission change is as smooth as possible and soldier care is a priority."
The local Guard unit was expected to leave for pre-mobilization training at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center (CAJMTC) near Edinburgh in July.
They had planned to depart in October for Afghanistan.
The 1-151 soldiers -- including about 160 members of A-Company based in Linton -- received their alert order in December and mobilization order on Feb. 14.
Lt. Col. Eric Derue had previously told the Greene County Daily World that the 1-151 was selected for an Afghanistan mission doing provincial reconstruction team security (PRT).
The provincial reconstruction team is a joint venture of the Army, Air Force and Navy and some State Department personnel that go around and make assessments in different provinces in terms of projects and governance assistance and training them how to do governance or do projects which will improve infrastructure or security.
The I-51 soldiers were expected to provide the security for each one of those reconstruction teams.
Commander Balbach, who look over the leadership of Company A in February, also commented on the support the Greene County community has given to the National Guard unit.
"We appreciate the community's continued support leading up to and throughout this process and were looking forward to sharing the mobilization process with the community. I anticipate nothing but continued support and cooperation with the local area and hope to see the relationship between the National Guard and the Linton area grow in the future."
Linton's Alpha Company was last mobilized in early December 2007 and arrived in Iraq in February 2008 after training exercises at Camp Atterbury and Fort Stewart, Ga.
Alpha Company returned back to Indiana in late November 2009.
During the last deployment, Company A soldiers completed a total of 210 combat logistics patrol missions transporting more than 7,800 foreign national loads and 3,800 contractor and U.S. military loads across Iraq.
The Linton National Guard unit was previously deployed to Iraq for 13 months in 2003.
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