Farewell for National Guard Soldiers heading for African today, June 14 at Mohawk Community College

Media Advisory

UTICA, NEW YORK (06/14/2022) (readMedia)-- One hundred and thirty New York Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry will say goodbye to their friends and family before they head for the Horn of Africa, during a farewell ceremony at Mohawk Valley Community College this morning, Tuesday, June 14.

Member of the press are invited to cover the ceremony.

The core of the unit is the Gloversville-based C Company, 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry, but encompasses Soldiers from across the larger battalion, which has elements in Geneseo, Morrisonville, Cortlandt Manor, as well as Utica.

WHO: Over 500 Soldiers and family members of Soldiers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment.

WHAT: A formal farewell ceremony at Mohawk Valley Community College's Jorgensen Center Field House during which Soldiers slated for a security mission at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti -- and locations in Kenya and Somalia--will say goodbye to their families for their 11-month long deployment. Soldiers will leave the field house and be bused to Fort Drum, New York for three weeks of training. They will then head to Fort Bliss, Texas for an additional 45-days and then deploy to Africa in September. They will spend approximately ten months in African before returning.

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

WHERE: Jorgensen Field House, Mohawk Valley Community College, 1101, Sherman Drive, Utica.

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 Patrick Halpin at (518) 481-7254 to coordinate access to the ceremony.


The farewell ceremony in Utica is one of three taking place on June 14, as a task force of 1,000 Soldiers built around the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry heads for post mobilization training at Fort Drum and Fort Bliss, before deploying to the Horn of Africa.

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.

Other events taking place today are at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City, and the Nassau County Police Academy on Long Island.

The Soldiers from A Troop, 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry held their farewell event on Monday, June 13.

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.