Alabama deploys National Guard unit to Afghanistan

Release #: 2014022001

MONTGOMERY, AL (02/20/2014)(readMedia)-- The Alabama Army National Guard's Company B of the 1st Battalion, 169th Aviation Regiment, out of Birmingham has been called to active duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Company B will have a departure ceremony Saturday, Feb. 22, at 3:00 p.m., at the Army Aviation Support Facility, located on the Air National Guard Base at 5701 East Lake Blvd, Birmingham, Ala.

The unit will deploy approximately 70 Alabama National Guard Soldiers to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Company B operates the Army's advanced CH-47F "Chinook" cargo helicopter and will transport U.S. and Coalition forces in support of combat operations across the northern and eastern regions of Afghanistan. The unit will serve there for approximately nine months and its support will be critical to the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) mission or turning over responsibility for the country's security to Afghan Forces.

The Soldiers will move to their mobilization station to conduct advanced mission training to prepare them for aviation operations in Afghanistan.

State and local officials, as well as senior Alabama National Guardsmen, will attend the ceremony to send off the Soldiers of Company B. The general public is invited and encouraged to attend to show their support for the Soldiers and their families.

The Alabama National Guard has called more than 21,000 personnel to active duty since 9/11 and remains a top contributor among the nation's National Guard organizations.

This is a controlled access military facility, all media wishing to attend should bring press credentials and official identification to obtain gate access.