The deployment of 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division will be the Hawkeye State's largest deployment since World War II.
"Almost every community in Iowa will be affected in some way by this deployment," said Orr. "The 2nd Brigade is full of veterans from previous deployments and the leadership team deploying forward is among the best in the Iowa National Guard. These leaders have proven themselves in previous deployments and challenging leadership assignments." Orr is himself a former commander of the brigade, and the current command team, Col. Tom Staton and Command Sgt. Major Craig Berte, were present at the speech.
Orr continued later, regarding the brigade's deployment ...
As the Adjutant General, I am personally responsible for certifying that all soldiers complete their required pre-mobilization warrior tasks and training before deploying to their mobilization station. This is a responsibility that I take very seriously. To properly accomplish this task to standard for all 2nd Brigade soldiers, the Iowa National Guard will conduct its first State Annual Training Exercise in more than 30 years at Camp Ripley, Minnesota, involving nearly all Iowa National Guard units to provide logistical and training support to assist the 2nd Brigade in their mobilization preparation. [...]In addition to taking care of the troops, Orr addressed taking care of families as well:
In preparation for the brigade deployment, we have added three more Family Assistance Specialists, bringing the total to seven. These specialists assist individuals with family issues, helping them connect to military, community and veterans resources. They assist families when they experience financial problems, have military health insurance questions, or need identification cards.
During mobilizations, the Family Assistance Specialist regularly check in with the families of deployed service members, to ensure they are coping well and receiving needed services. We currently have Family Assistance Specialists located in Camp Dodge, Iowa City, Council Bluffs, and Waterloo, as well as new offices in Sioux City, Ft. Dodge and Davenport.And, finally, the big picture:
It’s no small feat to prepare, train, equip and deploy more than 3,000 Soldiers while maintaining our organizational readiness, continue the efforts to prepare trained war fighters for future needs, take care of the needs of our Soldiers, Airmen and their families, while providing a robust domestic response capability for Iowa. Yet, despite these incredible challenges, I am confident that the Iowa National Guard will continue to set the example for all states; we will be there for Iowa when they call; and as a force, we will remain ―Mission Focused and Warrior Ready!