Hundreds of family, friends, and officials gathered at Washoe County’s Bartley Ranch Regional Park to bid farewell to about 50 Soldiers in Nevada Army National Guard’s 757th Combat Sustainment and Support Battalion last week in a deployment ceremony in advance of the unit’s nine-month deployment to Egypt.
The Reno-based headquarters company of the battalion is set to travel to the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt to provide command, control, administrative and logistical support to Task Force Sinai, the Multinational Force and Observers peacekeeping contingent in the region. This is the first deployment for the 757th CSSB Headquarters Company.
The MFO contingent is stationed along the Israeli-Egyptian border, where the 757th will spend its deployment providing services such as ammunition and explosive storage, postal services, and chaplain’s corps and mortuary affair services. The mission of the MFO is to supervise the security provisions of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty that was signed on April 25, 1982, and to prevent any violations of its terms.
The ceremony was held on the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. All of the speakers noted the 757th Soldiers will face a serious challenge during their deployment to a region fraught with political tension and potential violence and they also thanked the unit for doing its share to keep Americans safe at home.
“Please know on behalf of all Nevadans, we admire your dedication and respect your service more than words can convey,” said Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval. “Today is a day of remembrance. It’s a day to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks and also a day to pay tribute to those like you who sacrifice so much to prevent events like 9/11 from ever happening again.”
“It is a dangerous part of the world and it will certainly face many challenges,” said Lt. Col. Wilson DaSilva, the commander of the 757th CSSB. “But I can assure everyone that the soldiers are trained and are ready for this mission.”
Brig. Gen. Michael Hanifan, the commander of the Nevada Army Guard, said the area is potentially a hotbed of violence and international tension, which only adds to the importance of the unit’s peacekeeping mission.”
“This mission has recently taken on new meaning,” Hanifan said. “With the change in Egyptian leadership and the emergence of the Muslim brotherhood, this mission is now truly a requirement to deter additional conflict in that region.”
Once in Egypt, the 757th Soldiers will join about 200 other service members serving on the peacekeeping force, including a National Guard medical company, an active duty aviation company, and an active duty explosive ordnance disposal detachment. The unit will be reflagged as Headquarters Company, 1st U.S. Army Support Battalion while abroad.
The unit will now head to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., for several weeks of training before leaving for Egypt in early autumn.
“We’re looking well-trained and ready to deploy and conduct our mission,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Rogers of the 757th CSSB. “It should be a great mission.”