SHERIDAN — The Wyoming Army National Guard will host a community meeting Thursday to discuss the impending overseas deployment of local soldiers.
Deidre Forster, a public affairs officer for the Wyoming Army National Guard, said the meeting will brief community members on upcoming overseas deployments and discuss programs available to local guardsmen and community members who will be affected by their deployment.
“The reason that we’re coming is so that we can talk to people who employ guardsmen as well as the community members entrusted in basically partnering with us to ensure we have a successful deployment for everyone,” Forster said.
In a press release, Wyoming Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Brian Nesvik said the meeting will help community members understand how they can support local soldiers who will be deployed.
“Expectations of our state’s Citizen Soldiers have increased over time and it is critical for community leaders and employers to understand those increased demands and how important their support continues to be,” Nesvik said.
In October, the Wyoming National Guard announced roughly 300 soldiers from six Wyoming National Guard Units would be deployed in the coming months. That would be the largest deployment of Wyoming National Guard soldiers in nearly a decade.
One of those units, according to a release from the Wyoming National Guard last month, will be a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System unit that will “perform [its] standard HIMARS mission” when it is deployed in the spring.
Forster said she could not specify exactly where the Wyoming troops will be deployed, but said they will be sent to the United States Central Command’s area of responsibility, which spans from Northeast Africa, through the Middle East and to South and Central Asia and includes Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.
Of the Wyoming National Guard soldiers slated for deployment, Forster said about 12 will be sent from the Sheridan branch. Units will begin deploying in May and deployments will continue through September, Forster said; when local soldiers are deployed will depend on the unit to which they belong.
According to Forster, the deployments will likely last between nine and 12 months.
“The orders vary, based on the needs of the [CENTCOM Commander],” Forster said.
The meeting will be held at the Sheridan Wyoming Army National Guard Readiness Center on Coffeen Ave. at 1 p.m. Thursday. The Wyoming Army National Guard will hold additional meetings through Feb. and March in Casper, Cheyenne, Gillette and Laramie.