Approximately 30 Hoosier National Guard soldiers with the 177th Finance Management Support Detachment said goodbye to families, friends and peers during a departure ceremony at Indiana National Guard headquarters Saturday.
The soldiers will support Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve from several locations throughout the Middle East during their scheduled 9-month deployment.
"Over the past year training and preparing this unit has really truly shown just how strong and capable of a group we have to not only exceed, but to also excel at this mission," said Capt. Mark Shanklin, the detachment's commander. "I was amazed at how prepared, unwavering and dedicated everyone was as I was talking to them about the deployment."
The detachment soldiers will work with Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine commands and will help manage more than $500 million appropriations throughout those different commands.
The 38th Infantry Division Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Timothy Thombleson, also spoke at the ceremony and thanked the soldiers' and their families for their support and resilience while separated.
"Parents you can be proud. I'd like to thank you for raising a child who has a heart for service," said Thombleson. "I'd like to address the spouses, you know the soldier volunteers, but the spouse doesn't necessarily do that. But while apart there's an opportunity for growth even as you're separated and that opportunity is to strengthen your relationship."
The soldiers are scheduled for two weeks of additional training at Fort Bliss, Texas prior to leaving the United States.
Photos can be found online at dvidshub.net at link below.
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