NH National Guard members prepare to head to Middle East

Guard members will provide base support

February 01, 2021

More than 100 New Hampshire National Guard members are heading to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield.

Monday's send-off ceremony was largely virtual as 118 members of the 172nd Infantry prepared to deploy this weekend.

"Thank you for your commitment," U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan said. "Thank you for your service. Thank you for your strength in starting this incredibly important mission."

"We are so grateful you are deploying as part of Operation Spartan Shield," U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said.

It has been a busy year for the New Hampshire National Guard, with members tasked with running mass COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites and helping secure the inauguration in Washington, D.C.

Gov. Chris Sununu took a moment to recognize their sacrifice and commitment.

"What they have done time and time again, how they have stood up for every single mission, no matter what you ask of them, never complaining, mostly here in the state, but sometimes in D.C. and other locations," Sununu said.

For most of the Guard members, this will be their first deployment. They are expected to spend about nine months away from home.

The primary mission of the company will be to provide base support. No matter what the job, Maj. Gen. David Mikolaities said they are prepared.

"This is just a testament to their ability to flex from securing and helping the homeland during the pandemic to doing their federal mission, which is to deploy and protect American interests," he said.

While Guard members work overseas, Mikolaities said the work at home will continue.

"We think we are still able and capable to meet any requirements needed of us in the state," he said.

Source: WMUR