150 Wisconsin National Guard soldiers from Sparta-based unit to deploy to Eastern Europe
SPARTA, Wis. (WKBT) — About 150 Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers from the Sparta-based 107th Maintenance Company will deploy to Eastern Europe this spring.
The unit, which also has detachments in Viroqua, Wis., and Camp Ripley, Minn., will mobilize to U.S. European Command in Eastern Europe to conduct maintenance and recovery operations to support Operation Atlantic Resolve and a multinational joint exercise labeled Defender – Europe 2021.
The unit, which includes mechanics, production controllers, signal support specialists, supply specialists, vehicle recovery experts, armament specialists and a field feeding section will provide maintenance support to U.S. service members and allied forces in the theater.
Soldiers from the 107th Maintenance Company have been heavily engaged in the state’s domestic missions in the past year. Many served in support of Wisconsin’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the unit has been part of several civil disturbance responses since last spring.
The unit deployed to Saudi Arabia in 1990 during the Persian Gulf War and mobilized again in 2003 to Fort McCoy for a maintenance mission to support the Global War on Terrorism.
The Guard continues a high activity level statewide, with nearly 600 troops mobilized for the Badger State’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Dozens of Wisconsin Air National Guard airmen also continue worldwide mobilizations. About 35 soldiers from the Guard’s West Bend-based Company G, 2nd Battalion, 104th Aviation deployed to the Middle East last summer to conduct medevac missions across the theater.
The 176th Cyber Protection Team also remains in Fort Meade, Md., to support U.S. Cyber Command and Cyber National Mission Force requirements. About 60 soldiers with the Waukesha, Wis.-based 135th Medical Company mobilized in late March for deployment to Kuwait and Iraq.
Those mobilizations follow a historic year for the Wisconsin National Guard that saw more than 1,700 citizen soldiers and airmen mobilize at some point for the COVID response, which began March 12, 2020. The COVID mobilization represents the largest sustained domestic mobilization in Wisconsin National Guard history, dating to 1837.
More than 4,000 troops mobilized to be poll workers in four state elections after the pandemic created a shortage of traditional poll workers. More than 5,000 troops mobilized to help preserve public safety on several occasions in Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha, Racine and Wauwatosa.
Another 550 mobilized to Washington, D.C., to support security efforts at the presidential inauguration in January, and others deployed to California to help battle wildfires there last fall.
The Wisconsin National Guard welcomed home hundreds of troops from overseas deployments during the past year, including 400 soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry that completed a deployment to Afghanistan; 160 soldiers from the 32nd “Red Arrow” Infantry Brigade Combat Team that deployed to Ukraine; the 1967th Contracting Team, which deployed to Djibouti; the 924th Engineer Facilities Detachment, which deployed to Kuwait, and about 150 soldiers from the 829th Engineer Company that returned last fall from a deployment that spanned several countries across the Middle East and Southwest Asia.
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