FAMILY

Deployment ceremony for Milan-based Army National Guard Battalion

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

With numerous Illinois National Guard units deploying for Afghanistan and Iraq over the last year, a Milan-based Illinois Army National Guard unit has the unique opportunity as they prepare for a deployment to Sinai, Egypt.  

    A deployment ceremony is scheduled for approximately 440 Soldiers for 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery Regiment in Milan, Decatur and Macomb.  The event is May 22 at 10 a.m. at the I Wireless Center, 1201 River Drive in Moline. Following the ceremony, the Soldiers will travel to Fort Lewis, Wash., for training prior to their deployment to Sinai.

    The Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers will be part of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO).  The international peacekeeping force oversees the terms of the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.   For three decades the MFO has carried out its mission and has proven successful.  The desire of peace on the part of both Israel and Egypt, combined with the effectiveness of the MFO, has resulted in a durable and lasting state of peace between the two nations.

    “This mobilization illustrates the diverse skill sets and training of our Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers and the variety of missions we support in today's challenging international environment, as well as in our state and community,” said Maj. Gen. William Enyart, Adjutant General for the Illinois National Guard.  “This is a great opportunity for the Illinois Army National Guard to perform a unique mission.”

    The Milan-based 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery Regiment is comprised of Forward Support Company, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery in Milan; Headquarters, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery in Milan; Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery in Milan; Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery in Macomb and Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery in Galesburg.

    This is the first time the battalion will deploy as a single unit.  While the mobilization includes units from northwest Illinois, Soldiers from all areas of Illinois are part of this deployment.

     “This is a great opportunity for our battalion and the Soldiers of the Illinois Army National Guard,” said Lt. Col. Maurice Rochelle of Flossmoor, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery Commander.  “This unique opportunity is something many Soldiers are looking forward to and a chance for the Illinois National Guard to help keep peace.”

    Media and public attending the event should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the ceremony start time.  For more information call the Public Affairs Office at the number above.