Gov. Wolf Thanks Pennsylvania National Guard Soldiers, Families at Deployment Ceremony
September 05, 2019
Annville, PA – Today, 53 Pennsylvania National Guard (PNG) members assigned to Bravo Company and Delta Company, 2-104th General Support Aviation Battalion, 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, participated in a send-off ceremony in Annville as they prepare to mobilize for deployment to the Middle East as part of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (OFS). Governor Tom Wolf and Adjutant General Tony Carrelli thanked the troops and their families.
“Pennsylvania is fortunate to have such dedicated men and women like those here today who are willing to greatly sacrifice while serving thousands of miles from home to preserve our liberties and freedom,” said Gov. Wolf. “The entire commonwealth is grateful for your critical role in this nation’s safety and security. We thank you and your families and will continue to support you all throughout this difficult next year.”
“The nation and commonwealth have asked much of you and your families during your service in the National Guard,” said Gen. Carrelli, who also heads the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “We are proud of you all and ask once again that you put family and careers aside to defend freedom for America and her allies. We are here to support your families while you are gone and anxiously wait for your safe return next year.”
The units support aviation operations that will be conducted within the Middle East. The soldiers are based out of Fort Indiantown Gap and Johnstown but come from all over the commonwealth and some even reside in neighboring states. They will first travel to Texas to prepare for movement overseas.
Operation Freedom’s Sentinel is part of the Global War on Terrorism and is the official name for the mission succeeding Operation Enduring Freedom. Terrorist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda still function in the OFS area of operations and remain a threat to international stability, peace and safety.
Bravo Company soldiers operate CH-47 Chinook helicopters and Delta Company soldiers provide aviation maintenance. They will work with partner units to prevent these terrorist groups from launching attacks against Americans or our allies around the world.
Founded in 1747, the PNG is the second largest National Guard in the nation and is comprised of more than 18,000 soldiers and airmen, who reside in every county across the commonwealth. The PNG is part of the DMVA’s dual mission, which also includes supporting Pennsylvania’s nearly 800,000 veterans.