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La. National Guard Engineers prepare for deployment

By Spc. Duncan Foote, Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office

NEW ORLEANS – More than 40 Soldiers of the Louisiana Army National Guard’s 1021st Engineer Vertical Construction Company are conducting a two-week pre-mobilization training at the Louisiana National Guard Training Center Pineville.

This training, which focuses on sharpening skillsets and basic warrior skills common to all Soldiers, prepares the troops for their upcoming deployment to multiple countries in the Central Command area of responsibility. The unit’s primary objective overseas will be to provide construction engineering expertise to work on critical infrastructure.

“I am immensely proud of the work that our Soldiers have put in to prepare for their mission and am confident that they will exceed expectations while mobilized,” said Capt. Emily Anthony, commander of the 1021st EVCC. “I know they will represent our unit, the 205th Engineer Battalion and the entire State with pride.”

The LANG conducts this type of training for units to address and resolve issues before moving to their mobilization site or forward deployment location. Mobilizing units must conduct a Soldier readiness processing event, allowing the State to validate Soldiers through medical and administrative evaluations and verify the deployment status of each unit member.

“Our Soldiers are highly motivated,” said 1st Sgt. Kevin Steele. “They are excited about the opportunities and growth in knowledge that this deployment will bring.”

The Soldiers spend long days honing their skills with the equipment they will utilize while deployed, including basic construction tools as well as heavier machinery such as bulldozers and plate compactors. The diversity of the projects required the full spectrum of the unit’s capabilities to accomplish.

“Morale is high,” said Steele. “The Soldiers are focusing on excelling and becoming more proficient with their skillset.”

As their training continues, Soldiers of the 1021st EVCC learn how to keep themselves healthy during deployments and worked through Tactical Combat Casualty Care, followed by the Combat Lifesaver Course, which teaches life-saving battlefield medical procedures, such as how to apply a tourniquet, treat a sucking chest wound and other common injuries.

From there, the team gathered in classrooms where they received training that is required for deploying Soldiers on topics including resiliency, legal considerations, sexual harassment and assault prevention.

This will be the first deployment for the 1021st since 2013. During the nine-month deployment, Soldiers will be supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, Freedom Sentinel and Spartan Shield.

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