National Guard soldiers depart Taylor Armory for Texas, then Iraq

The 177th Military Police Brigade, Michigan Army National Guard in Taylor, hosted a deployment ceremony April 14 for nearly 90 guardsmen from the 177th who will deploy next month in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Ad “advance party” of 29 members departed during the early morning hours of April 15 for Fort Bliss, Texas, where the unit will complete soldier readiness processing before deploying to Iraq. The remaining soldiers depart May 5 and will meet up with the advance party at Fort Bliss.

While deployed, the guardsmen will serve as the higher headquarters for other units deployed in the same area.

Nearly 1,500 Michigan National Guard soldiers and airmen are currently deployed across the globe to such locations as Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Kosovo and the New Mexico/Arizona border.

Since September 11, 2001, more than 85 percent of the Michigan Guard has deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. However, as Michigan troops serve the nation, more than 80 percent of the Michigan Guard remains available and ready to respond to a state emergency, including a terrorist event.

Included during the April 14 ceremony was the promotion of Fremont, Michigan, resident Col. Michael R. Nevin, brigade commander, to the rank of brigadier general. Nevin will be the front man during his brigade’s 12-month-plus deployment.

- Photos coming soon.