As tensions rise in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world, soldiers and air men and women from Montana and Wyoming may find themselves in harm’s way during overseas deployment, but that comes with wearing the uniform.
"We are always in harm’s way," says Captain Dan Bushnell, Public Affairs Officer with the Montana National Guard.
Bushnell acknowledges that he cannot say specifically where Montanans are deployed but knows that the people back home are anxious due to rising tensions in the Middle East.
"If you are not at your home of record or home station, you are always in harm’s way and that is what we do as the Montana Army and Air National Guard," he says.
Bushnell confirmed the Montana Army National Guard currently has about 300 soldiers stationed in the Central Command area of responsibility in Southwest and Southeast Asia. The 1-189 General Support Aviation Battalion deployed in October 2019 and is scheduled to return to Montana in late summer.
Bushnell also says Montanans are deployed overseas as augmentees. These are Montana men and women who have a particular skill needed in a unit not from Montana. He says we have some of those in turbulent parts of the world.
The Wyoming Army National Guard has several units overseas at this time. News releases from the Wyoming Army Guard report the guard has two field artillery units deployed in the Middle East. These soldiers are assigned to U.S. Central Command and were deployed in July and September 2019 to Texas for additional training.
Wyoming guard also has a company of soldiers from the 297th Infantry Regiment deployed to Kosovo as part of a peacekeeping mission. They left Wyoming in May 2019 for training in Texas before being sent to the southeastern European country. This regiment is assigned to the U.S. European Command.