Arizona National Guard Unit Deploying Overseas to Support U.S. Central Command

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Arizona National Guard
Credits: Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs

A unit of the Arizona National Guard is deploying overseas to help the United States Central Command (CENTCOM). A farewell ceremony will be held at the Papago Park Military Reservation in Phoenix on Saturday.

According to Arizona National Guard officials, the 25-member Detachment One of the 158th Military Engagement team will support the CETCOM for nine months.

The CETCOM supervises U.S. military operations in various regions from Northeast Africa, the Middle East to Central and South Asia. Its primary mission is to increase regional security and stability to maintain U.S. interests.

The Command’s priorities include ensuring an effective posture, strengthening allies and partnerships, disrupting and countering violent extremist organizations (VEOs) and their networks; as well as countering and preventing state aggressors.

Sgt. Monette Wesolek, the spokesperson for the Arizona National Guard said she can’t provide specific details regarding the unit’s deployment due to operational security reasons.

Military engagement teams work with other country’s forces and participate in security cooperation missions and combined training exercises.

Arizona National Guard members came home from Guantanamo Bay Naval Base

Meanwhile, dozens of Arizona National Guard members came home earlier this month from their deployment to the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They were stationed there since December. The base includes a military prison for alleged unlawful combatants arrested in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries during the War on Terror.

According to the Arizona National Guard, around 50 soldiers of the 850th Military Police Battalion performed command and support activities for the Joint Task Force Guantanamo in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

A welcome home ceremony was held for the unit at the Papago Park Military Reservation on November 10. The National Guard’s Adjutant General Air Force Major Gen. Michael T. McGuire joined family, friends, and service members at the event.