National Guard Unit from Haywood to deploy to Afghanistan
The National Guard’s 211th Military Police Company based in Haywood County is deploying to Afghanistan.
A mobilization ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, at Haywood Community College’s auditorium to give the soldiers a proper send off.
The 210th Military Police Company hailing from Macon and Jackson counties shipped out in the spring, also Afghanistan bound. Both unit were placed “on alert” at the end of last year, signaling an impending mission.
The National Guard 211th unit has more than 110 soldiers.
Generally, military police companies like the 211th are used to guard prisoners or run security patrols.
The state National Guard office would not provide details about the mission, however.
“Due to operational security, there are some issues, such as exact locations and detailed mission objectives, that I cannot divulge at this time,” said Cpt. Rick Scoggins, a spokesman with the North Carolina National Guard.
The 211th has deployed three times in the last 11 years. The company went to Afghanistan for a year in 2002 and then to Iraq in 2003 and 2004. Prior to that, the unit served in Operation Desert Storm in 1990.
While members of the 211th are preparing to leave their families, Deborah Reed, a family support coordinator for the unit, is enlisting people on the home front to send care packages and letters to the soldiers while they are gone.
“We will just be organizing the community to put together care packages,” Reed said. “They really come together when units deploy.”
Those wishing to help by either donating care packages or volunteering their time can contact Reed at 828.776.2527 or the unit’s headquarters in Clyde at 828.627.9024.