NEWS | Dec. 16, 2020

Utah National Guard’s 141 MI Battalion hold farewell ceremony for Soldiers deploying to Middle East

By Sgt 1st Class John Etheridge Utah Army National Guard

In a scaled back event due to COVID-19 precautions, 24 Soldiers from the 141st Military Intelligence Battalion, 300th Military Intelligence Brigade, said a final farewell during a ceremony Dec. 10, 2020, at the Utah National Guard’s Orem Readiness Center as they prepare to depart for an overseas deployment.

The small group of attendees spaced themselves throughout the drill hall for the ceremony which included, playing of the National Anthem and a special recognition of the deploying Soldiers.

The distinguished speakers from the Utah National Guard included Brig. Gen Tyler Smith, assistant adjutant general—Army; Col. Shahram A. Takmili, 300th Military Intelligence Brigade commander; and the 141st command team Lt. Col. Jeremy Stevenson and Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Price.

The speakers expressed their gratitude to the Soldiers and their families for their service and commitment and spoke on the significance of the Soldier’s families for the success of the mission.

“To the families, you actually have the hard job because your Soldier is going off to have this great adventure while you are at home taking care of things,” said Smith in his remarks to the audience. “I want to commend you for your bravery and for your mental toughness.”

Stevenson, the 141st battalion commander, stated that the Soldier’s mission success and family success has been the priority for the battalion over the last year and it will continue through the deployment.

“Our goal over the next year is to continue to make you the number one priority and ensure that the Soldiers have what they need downrange, and that your families have the support they need here at home,” Stevenson said.

The deploying detachment is comprised of human intelligence and counterintelligence Soldiers and tasked to provide force protection support to ground forces during a 12-month deployment in the U.S. Central Command area of operations.

“Their main responsibility is to collect information about potential threats to the U.S. and partner forces,” said Stevenson. “It is a very important job. They get to help protect the lives of their fellow service members.”

Even though the pandemic has presented some challenges, the group trained heavily over the last year to prepare for the deployment.

“Getting to know the Soldiers over the last year and training together has set us up for success,” said Sgt. 1st Class Ron Meacham, a human intelligence team leader. “Even with COVID, we were able to complete our training, and get to know everyone’s strengths.”

This is Meacham’s third deployment and he said that he is sharing his experience with the Soldiers who have not deployed to help them know what to expect and to aid them in setting their families up for success while they are away.

More than half of the Soldiers from the detachment have never deployed. This is the first time for Sgt. Alina Rodriguez, a counterintelligence agent with the 141st and mother of two. She said that she has been open with her children about her upcoming deployment and that they are prepared for her absence. Rodriguez, who came to the United States from Mexico when she was 15 years old, looks forward to the deployment and the opportunity to work in her position and serve her country.

“I have waited my whole eight-year career to deploy. I feel like not only do I have a good deployment, I also have a good team,” said Rodriguez. “I am so blessed to be here and to serve this country.”

 

 

 

Your Career Starts Here

Utah National Guard Engineers Train at Dinosaur National Monument
By Sgt. 1st Class Richad Stowell | June 22, 2022
Soldiers from the 1457th participated in an annual training exercise they won't soon forget.Engineers from the 116th Engineer Company and support personnel for the Forward Support Company– about 125 Soldiers in all–...

An AH-64 Apache helicopter from the 1-211th Aviation Regiment, Utah Army National Guard, waits to be taxied on June 20, 2022, at Agadir Al-Massira International Airport, Morocco. AL22 is U.S. Africa Command's largest, premier, joint, combined annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Ghana, Senegal, and Tunisia, June 6 - 30. More than 7,500 participants from 28 nations and NATO train together with a focus on enhancing readiness for U.S. and partner-nation forces. AL22 is a joint all-domain, multi-component, and multinational exercise, employing a full array of mission capabilities with the goal to strengthen interoperability among participants and set the theater for strategic access. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Christopher Hall)
Utah’s Apache Helicopters Arrive in Morocco
By Maj. Brent Mangum, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) | June 20, 2022
Approximately 60 Soldiers from the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment, Utah Army National Guard, landed at the Agadir Al-Massira International Airport, Morocco, June 20...

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Utah Army National Guard, U.S. Navy Sailor and Soldiers from the Royal Moroccan Army train together in a Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force operations center as part of exercise African Lion 2022. AL22 is U.S. Africa Command's largest, premier, joint, combined annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Ghana, Senegal, and Tunisia, June 6 - 30. More than 7,500 participants from 28 nations and NATO train together with a focus on enhancing readiness for U.S. and partner-nation forces. AL22 is a joint all-domain, multi-component, and multinational exercise, employing a full array of mission capabilities with the goal to strengthen interoperability among participants and set the theater for strategic access. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Christopher Hall)
Utah National Guard Members Arrive in Morocco for African Lion 22
By Maj. Brent Mangum | June 17, 2022
Roughly 300 members of the Utah National Guard will participate in African Lion 2022, U.S. Africa Command's largest, premier, joint, combined annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Ghana, Senegal, and Tunisia, June 6 - 30. More...

A gun crew from Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 145th Field Artillery, Utah National Guard, lines up their M109 Paladin for day of live fire during Western Strike 22, June 11, 2022, at Orchard Combat Training Center, Idaho. Western Strike 22 is an eXportable Combat Training Capabilities exercise led by the 65th Field Artillery Brigade, Utah National Guard, that provides National Guard Soldiers immersed training similar to a combat training center and aims to increase participating unit's readiness and lethality. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. William Cowley)
Making a Move: Logistics and the Success of an Exercise
By Sgt. James Bunn | June 14, 2022
Whether moving across the country or making a tactical river crossing, a good logistics plan is the crucial difference between success and failure. Military operations have always hinged upon the movement of troops, weapon...

Gun crews from 2nd Battalion, 222nd Field Artillery Regiment, 65th Field Artillery Brigade, Utah Army National Guard, begin preparing their equipment for a day of fire missions as part of Western Strike 22 at Orchard Combat Training Center, Idaho, June 11, 2022. Western Strike is an eXportable Combat Training Capabilities exercise led by the 65th FAB, that provides National Guard Soldiers immersed training similar to a combat training center and aims to increase participating unit's readiness and lethality. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Alejandro Lucero)
Lightning Strikes: Summoning America’s Thunder
By Sgt. Alejandro Lucero | June 14, 2022
Units from the 65th Field Artillery Brigade, Utah National Guard, rocked the Idaho landscape in a barrage of awe-inspiring firepower. Soldiers from California, Iowa, North Carolina, and Utah assembled near Boise, Idaho at...

Forward observers await UH-60 helicopters for transport to new observation areas for training on marking artillery targets during Western Strike 22, June 9, 2022. Western Strike 22 is an eXportable Combat Training Capabilities exercise led by the Utah National Guard’s 65th Field Artillery Brigade, that provides National Guard Soldiers immersed training similar to a combat training center and aims to increase participating unit's readiness and lethality. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Ariel J. Solomon)
North Carolina National Guard forward observers provide fire support to National Guard units from four different states at Western Strike 22
By Cdt. Joshua Matthews | June 14, 2022
Fire support teams from 1st Battalion, 113th Field Artillery Regiment of the North Carolina National Guard provided fire support to National Guard units from four different states during Western Strike 22 throughout the month...

U.S. Army Cpl. Spencer Fayles with Utah’s 144th Area Support Medical Company, receives a certificate of participation during the Region VII Best Warrior Competition award ceremony on the island of Guam, May 26, 2022. This annual competition featured the best noncommissioned officer and Soldier from eight different states and territories including Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. Testing competitors’ skills and knowledge and pushing them to their limits, the competition graded each participant in key areas such as basic Soldier skills, marksmanship under stress, land-navigation, and physical fitness. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jordan Hack)
Two Utah Soldiers awaken "Warrior Spirit" at Region VII Best Warrior Competition
By Staff Sgt. Jordan Hack | June 4, 2022
A Soldier’s transformation into a warrior is difficult to describe. Hand-picked by leadership, proving themselves with every drop of sweat, every sore muscle, and every labored breath; Soldiers who compete naturally don the...

Brig. Gen. Frank Gräfe, the defense attaché from the Federation of Germany to the United States, (left) and Brig. Gen. Daniel D. Boyack, Commander of the Utah Air National Guard & Assistant Adjutant General-Air, (right) pose using the iconic “thumbs up” that Gail Halvorsen was known for on May 20th at the Provo City Cemetary. The Utah Air National Guard was in attendance to show support and honor the heroic efforts of Gail Halvorsen. (Utah Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt Nicholas Perez)
Honoring a war hero who delivered hope
By Staff Sgt. Nicholas Perez | May 31, 2022
Ret. U.S. Air Force Col. Gail Halvorsen, known as the “Candy Bomber”, was honored by top leadership from the Utah Air National Guard, Utah National Guard, and Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany with the laying of two...

The Utah National Guard FEMA Region VIII Homeland Response Force held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Collapsed Structure Venue Site which included a demonstration and static display of capabilities May 10, 2022 at Camp Williams, Utah. The CSVS is one of only three military owned Urban Search and Rescue training venues west of the Rocky Mountains. This CSVS will allow both military search and extract and civilian search and rescue teams the opportunity to train together and build those necessary partnerships needed in an “all hazards” response. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Sgt. John Etheridge)
Camp Williams adds a Premiere Search and Extraction Training Site to Benefit the Homeland Response Force, State, Region, and Nation.
By Lt. Col. Robert Ramage Warden | May 11, 2022
The Utah National Guard has a new training site for the Region VIII Homeland Response Force’s search and extraction team, as well as partner civilian urban search and rescue teams. Lt. Col. Erick R. Wiedmeier, commander of...

Members of the Combined Veterans Honor Guard joined members from the Utah National Guard Honor Guard in conducting military funeral honors for the remains of Cpl. David Milano April 29, 2022 in Ogden, Utah. Milano went missing in action Dec. 2, 1950, during the Korean War. After 71 years, his remains have been repatriated to the United States and have been laid to rest on U.S. soil. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Sgt. John Etheridge)
A Family's Faith: Chosin Soldier Comes Home
By Staff Sgt. Jordan Hack | May 3, 2022
Often referred to as “the Forgotten War,” the Korean War’s significance tends to be overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War. Even in that light, it’s nothing short of a miracle that Korean War service members are...