ANG sends off Army Guard units

  • Published
  • By Ileen Kennedy
  • Utah Army National Guard
Over the past few weeks, more than 500 Soldiers from the Utah National Guard departed from the Utah Air National Guard Base en route to locations in Afghanistan and Kuwait. 

Soldiers from the 142nd and 141st Military Intelligence Battalions (Linguist) and the 2nd Battalion, 211th Army Aviation Regiment, departed on Feb. 20 and 26, 2008 for their 12-month deployments. 

Members of the intelligence units speak more than 25 different languages and dialects and are trained in a variety of military intelligence skills. 

While in Afghanistan, the 142nd will be assigned to support the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and will conduct a variety of intelligence missions as well as humanitarian
missions throughout the region. 

"We have some of the main languages for this area of the world; Persian Farsi, Dari, Urdu, Baluchi and Pashtu, a lot of the tribal languages that are used around the Afghanistan borders," said Maj. Joseph Green, commander of C Company. "We have some really well-trained, experienced Soldiers, some with 30 years of experience." 

On previous missions, the 142nd translated documents but this mission will be different. The Soldiers will use the skills they have been trained with as they work among the Afghan locals. 

The 2-211th is headed to Fort Sill, Okla. for several weeks of specialized training before heading overseas. 

"We are taking a task force. The task force's name is Ghost Rider. We are meeting up with the flight company today and will be doing some advance training for about two months," said Lt. Col. LaMar Blair, commander. 

Soldiers from Utah's 2-211th and New Jersey's 2-104th will make up Task Force 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion and will train together. Prior to entering a combat environment they will train together at Fort Sill and combine procedures so they synchronize as a Task Force. 

After the approximately 80 days of training, Ghost Rider Task Force will continue to Kuwait. Their primary mission will be air movement of distinguished visitors, as well as movement of equipment and personnel throughout the Middle East.