Capt. Kiel Archer is approaching his second deployment with the 833rd Engineer Company of the Iowa National Guard and noted more than 10 individuals are now going into their third deployment.
“That does seem like a lot and more than normal,” he said Tuesday afternoon. “Morale is high during our training events, and that means training is good.”
Archer said his unit was ready to get started, to do the deployment and then to get back home.
“We’ll be deployed for a full year,” he added. “It’s easier when you know what you’re doing.”
About 100 soldiers are being mobilized from the 833rd Engineer Company (formerly known as Company B, 224th Engineer Battalion).
After going to their mobilization station at Fort Bliss, Texas, for additional training, the unit will report to the Central Command in the theater of operations in Afghanistan.
Archer said he feels his men have been given a mission to carry out and will do the best they can for the people of the United States and its government.
The captain noted serving in the military is a different experience for each soldier. Different feelings arise during each portion of a combat tour, which he described at beginning of the tour of deployment, the time actually spent overseas and then coming home.
“Our soldiers aren’t alone because the families carry the burden, too,” Archer said.
Archer praised the families who have to stay behind while their family members face the challenges of shipping out to an active combat zone so far from Iowa.
“The community support is outstanding,” he said. “People show up now and have many times in the past. It means a lot to have the support.”
A community sendoff for the 833rd is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at the Hellyer Student Life Center at Indian Hills Community College.