North Iowa’s “Ironman” battalion is headed to the Middle East.
The 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Iowa Army National Guard, recently received deployment orders for Operation Spartan Shield.
This is the first of several deployments that were announced by Maj. Gen. Ben Corell, the Iowa National Guard Adjutant General, during his recent Condition of the Guard address to the Iowa General Assembly on Jan. 16.
Approximately 550 soldiers from National Guard armories in Charles City, Davenport, Dubuque, Iowa City, Iowa Falls, Oelwein and Waterloo will serve as area security and force protection operations in the deployment to an area that includes Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, among others.
This is the fifth federal mobilization for the Ironman Battalion since 2000, including a nearly 22-month mobilization in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from September 2005 through August 2007. The battalion’s most recent deployment was to Afghanistan in 2010.
Send-off ceremonies are planned for the end of May. The Ironman Battalion will then travel to Ft. Bliss, Texas, to complete its final training and readiness checks before deploying overseas. The deployment is expected to last approximately one year.
The Iowa National Guard family services branch is hosting a Joining Community Forces (JCF) event at 9 a.m. Feb. 11 at the Waterloo Readiness Center, for organizations interested in coming together to support the northeast Iowa military community.
JCF is an effort to connect the local community with soldiers and their families in preparation for the upcoming deployment.
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