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NEWS | April 8, 2022

Michigan Army National Guard Soldiers Slated for Middle East Deployment

By Michael Kroll Michigan National Guard

LANSING, Mich. — An important part of any deployment is ensuring that family can join with their loved ones who are preparing to head overseas for a proper send-off and recognition. On April 2, approximately 350 Soldiers assigned to the Michigan Army National Guard 156th Expeditionary Signal Battalion (ESB), based in Howell, gathered with their families and invited guests at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base and at Howell High School as they prepared to depart for their deployment to the Middle East.

“As our world yet again faces historic challenges, the Michigan National Guard is ready to support our nation as we continue to secure our safety through our presence overseas,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “The Michiganders who serve our state and nation in uniform are the best of us. Their service and the sacrifices that their loved ones make keep us safe. They have our unwavering support as they embark on this new deployment and we will continue supporting our military families here at home.”

“As our Soldiers prepare to deploy, the Michigan National Guard Family Programs Office plays an integral role in support of our military operations and preparing families for the challenges of deployment,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Lawrence E. Schloegl, assistant adjutant general and deputy director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “Prior to deployment, Soldiers and their families attended a Yellow Ribbon Program event designed to educate, assist and provide resources to help support families and minimize any hardships related to deployments.”

This will be the first deployment for the 156th ESB which was established six years ago. Known by their slogan, ‘Nothing but Net’, the Soldiers are anticipated to be deployed for up to a year.

“We will be operating under Operation Spartan Shield and fall in with U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM),” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Samuel P. LaBara, commander of the 156th ESB. “We will be the backbone transmission for all network requirements and will enable uninterrupted mission command in CENTCOM, providing voice and data communications for units and operations within the region and contingency communications support.”

The Michigan National Guard Family Programs Office provides support and care for service members and families of the Michigan National Guard while enhancing the readiness and well-being of their military families through information, education, programs and resources. They may be reached at 1-888-MICH-FAM.

Images of the ceremony are available for download at