The Edmond Sun

November 23, 2012

Oklahoma Guard unit deploys to Afghanistan

Sgt. Daniel Nelson
Oklahoma Army National Guard

FORT HOOD, Texas — On Nov. 10, officials from the Oklahoma Army National Guard said farewell to 39 members of Detachment 1, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 149th General Support Aviation (2-149th GSAB).

Among those in the send-off party were Brig. Gen. Robbie Asher, Joint Chief of Staff; Col. Jon Harrison, state aviation officer; Command Sgt. Maj. Steve Jensen, Oklahoma Army National Guard command sergeant major; Sgt. Maj. Don Burrows, state aviation sergeant major; and retired State Command Chief Warrant Officer Paul Merchant.

The members of the 2-149th GSAB joined their Texas counterparts to deploy to southeast Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom while conducting medevac flight operations.

Training for the deployment helped the soldiers build a cohesive team for their mission, which will better serve them while overseas, according to Sgt. 1st Class Chad Beals, crew member for the 2-149th GSAB.

“We have integrated well with the members of the Texas Guard,” Beals said.

No matter the size of the group deploying, the Oklahoma National Guard command staff ensures there is always a sending and receiving party for deploying Oklahoma soldiers.

“It’s important we show our support for our soldiers,” Asher said. “Our soldiers have worked tirelessly the past few years training and preparing for this mission. It was an honor to see them off and I plan to welcome them back when they complete their mission.”