600 National Guard Soldiers say goodbye to families at Javits Convention Center event on Tuesday, June 14

Media Advisory

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (06/13/2022) (readMedia)-- Six hundred Soldiers assigned to New York City's "Fighting 69th" infantry will say goodbye to their families for a year during a farewell ceremony 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, June 14 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.

The Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry will be deploying to Camp Lemonier, Djibouti in the Horn of Africa for a security mission.

Members of the press are invited to cover the ceremony.

WHO: 1,000 Soldiers, and family members of Soldiers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry, Major General Thomas Spencer, the commander of the 42nd Infantry Division, and Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General of New York.

WHAT: A formal ceremony at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, during which the Soldiers of the battalion's Headquarters Company, Alpha Company, and Charlie Company will say goodbye to their families before departing on an 11-month long mission. Following the ceremony the Soldiers will depart on buses for Fort Drum, Jefferson County, where they will train for three weeks. They will then head to Fort Bliss, Texas for additional training before deploying to Africa.

WHEN: 10 a.m., Tuesday, June 14, 2022

WHERE: Jacob Javits Convention Center, 429, 11th Ave, NY, NY, 10001

Coverage Opportunities:

Reporters can obtain video and still images of the farewell ceremony and Soldiers boarding the buses taking them to Fort Drum. Interviews with leaders, Soldiers and family members can be arranged.

Reporters should contact Major Michael O' Hagan at 609-234-2636 to coordinate access and coverage


The Javits Center event is one of three being held on Tuesday as 1,100 New York Army National Guard Soldiers mobilize for the mission in the Horn of Africa.

A ceremony for other Soldiers of the battalion's Bravo, Delta, and support companies will be held at the Nassau County Police Department Academy, at 1 p.m.

A ceremony will be held in Utica for 131 Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry who are also part of the deployment.

A farewell event will be held on Monday, June 13 in Geneva in the Fingerlakes, for 131 Soldiers of the 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry who are also part of the task force.

The Task Force of 1,100 Soldiers commanded by Lt. Col. Shawn Tabankin, the commander of the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry, will conduct three weeks of post-mobilization training at Fort Drum in Jefferson County.

They will then conduct another 45 days of training at Fort Bliss, Texas before deploying to the Horn of Africa. This is the area that lies between the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

The 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry, is famous as the "Fighting 69th" and distinguished itself during the Civil War, World War I and World War II and in Iraq in 2005. Company-sized elements from the 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry, as well as the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry are part of the deployment.

Camp Lemonnier is a former French Foreign Legion base on the Gulf of Aden, which has been used by the U.S. military since 2002. The base has been used to suppress piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean and serves as the headquarters of United States operations in Africa.