The Storm Lake Iowa National Guard unit will continue to play a heavy-lifting role in the war on terrorism.
Twenty-seven of the unit's members are currently deployed.
Even as many citizen soldiers return in August from a year's service in the Iraq theater of operations, a sendoff ceremony has been scheduled for July 20th to mark the deployment of 42 more of the unit's soldiers, bound for a year in Kosovo.
Many of these Guard members have previoulsy served a year in Afghanistan, and some are on their third extended call to active duty, having first served in Operation Noble Eagle in stateside security in 2002-03.
The sendoff will be held at the Storm Lake Armory, 5 p.m. on July 20, and the public is welcome.
Details of the ceremony are still being worked out.
A welcoming ceremony will also be held in August for the local servicepeople returning from Iraq.
There are currently 84 soldiers in the Storm Lake unit, 28 of them new recruits going through boot camp. "We have a number of young soldiers, and most of our experienced soldiers are going overseas," said Staff Sergeant Roger Ingeldue.
For a time, there will be a sergeant and about 12 others available to man the armory. In the event of an emergency, such as a tornado strike, it would probably mean that soldiers from other Iowa units would be called into the area.
The local unit was placed on alert in March for the Kosovo mission, part of Operation Enduring Freedom's anti-terrorism peacekeeping efforts. If necessary, the local Guard members could be kept on active duty for up to 24 months, although current Department of Defense policy is to contain mobilizations to 12 months, according to Iowa National Guard officials.
The 1st Battalion, 194th Field Artillery is comprised of units located in Fort Dodge (Headquarters and Headquarters Battery), Estherville (Battery A), Algona (Battery B), and Storm Lake (Company G, 334th Brigade Support Battalion). Their mission assignment is to provide direct and indirect artillery fires, and coordinate artillery and mortar fires, and close air support for combat units in a theater of operations.