New York Guard Brigade Prepares to Deploy to Afghanistan
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2007 New York National Guardsmen will start deploying to Afghanistan late this year, Defense Department officials said today.
About 1,700 Guardsmen of the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team will relieve South Carolina National Guardsmen of the 218th Brigade Combat Team as the primary trainers of the Afghan National Army. The New York brigade is based in Syracuse.
“Thousands of New York Guardsmen have answered the call from serving at Ground Zero when the Twin Towers fell to commanding combat troops in Central Iraq and now to the mountains of Afghanistan,” said Army Lt. Col. Paul Fanning, the public affairs officer for what will become Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix 7.
Units in the brigade from all over the Empire State will deploy. While the brigade has not deployed before, about 25 percent of the Guardsmen have deployed to support the war on terror, Fanning said.
The first soldiers from the New York brigade will deploy late this year. The majority will move to the country in mid-2008, officials said.
Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix 7 will include a Training Assistance Group the 106th Regional Training Institute based at Camp Smith in the Hudson Valley. It will also contain mentoring teams drawn from Guard combat and combat support units, security force personnel from the western New York-based 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry, and the Plattsburgh-based Company B, 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry. The 427th Forward Support Battalion from various armories statewide will provide logistics support.
More than 6,000 members of the New York Army National Guard have been called to federal active duty for service -- mostly in Iraq or Afghanistan -- since 2003, Fanning said.