Army National Guard troops based in Prescott deploy to Afghanistan
Parade in Prescott Valley sends them off
Military parade to honor National Guard Infantry Unit Charlie Company 1st Battalion-158
As part of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, 400 troops with the Army National Guard battalion in Arizona have been assigned to deploy to Afghanistan.
About 100 of those troops, National Guard Infantry Unit Charlie Company 1st Battalion-158, have been stationed in the Prescott area. In honor of their deployment, the Town of Prescott Valley hosted a parade around the Prescott Valley Civic Center on Sunday, May 6.
Participants in the parade included the Marine Corps League Honor Guard, Scottish American Military Pipers, Combat Vets Motorcycle Group, American Legion Motorcycle Group and the Prescott Valley Police Department.
National Guard Infantry Unit Charlie Company 1st Battalion-158 is made up of a mix of troops ranging in experience. Some of them have already been deployed while others are fresh off of basic training, said Captain Eric Terre.
Some of those in the company have been waiting about 10 years to be deployed, Terre said.
“A lot of people think it’s weird that we look forward to a deployment, but you can imagine just training to do a job for ten years and never actually getting to do it; we want to be able to do our jobs,” Terre said.
The last time the 158 Infantry Battalion deployed was in 2007. They nearly deployed in 2012, but were told to stand down, “so that was a little bit of a disappointment,” Terre said.
While in Afghanistan, the battalion will be serving as a security force. The deployment is for at least one year, Terre said.
“Wherever they need us, we’ll be able to provide additional security for the whole area,” Terre said.
After the parade, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10227 hosted a free lunch for the troops, accompanied by a proclamation announcement given by Prescott Valley Mayor Harvey Skoog that declared May 6 a day to honor and appreciate the company.