As it currently stands, the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 229th Engineer Company based in Platteville and Prairie du Chien is preparing to leave for Afghanistan. According to LTC Jackie Guthrie with the Wisconsin National Guard, 150 members of the unit are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Guthrie explained that the situation remains fluid and changes could be made to the plan. "While things are always subject to change, we currently expect the soldiers to depart in August for Fort Bliss, Texas, for mobilization training en route to Afghanistan to conduct their combat mission," she said.
According to Guthrie, the unit's most recent mobilization was in 2003-2004 when it deployed to Tikrit, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The unit also mobilized in 1990-1991 in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm.
Once the unit was alerted that they will be mobilized their training increased in frequency and intensity, in preparation for their year-long mission. Guthrie indicated the Department of Defense sets the length of deployment at not more than 12 months.
When the unit deployed in 2003 they were given just 48 hours notice.
The work they will do in Afghanistan will be engineer based, utilizing heavy equipment.