Cape Guard unit to help Poplar Bluff MPs mobilize for Afghanistan
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Thursday, January 28, 2010
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- A Cape Girardeau-based Missouri National Guard detachment is heading to Camp Clark on Feb. 4 to help a military police battalion prepare for an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.
The 735th Quartermaster Force Providers Detachment 3 is leaving Cape Girardeau next month for its two-week annual training at Camp Clark, which is a National Guard training site in west-central Missouri. Camp Clark is the site where deploying units begin pre-mobilization training for overseas deployments in the Global War on Terror.
The detachment will be sending more than 30 Citizen-Soldiers to support the 205th Military Police Battalion in Poplar Bluff before the MPs deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in March. The battalion is expected to complete its deployment in April 2011.
"We're looking forward to doing whatever we can to help," said Sgt. 1st Class Jay Moore, a platoon sergeant and full-time readiness technician for the 735th's Detachment 3. "We want to help make the transition as seamless as possible."
The 735th has its headquarters in De Soto, but has five detachments, including Detachment 3 in Cape Girardeau. Detachment 1 is in Poplar Bluff, Detachment 2 is in Jefferson City, Detachment 4 is in Rolla and Detachment 5 is at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis.
All of the detachments are doing their annual training in Camp Clark, with the first rotation starting last November to support other units preparing to mobilize for overseas deployments. Such rotations for the 735th will continue until June, though the Cape Girardeau detachment's mission will end Feb. 18.
Quartermaster units provide support to other troops such as general supply, mortuary affairs, food service, fuel and water and other field services, such as laundry services.
"We run the dining facility, the laundry facility and provide other manpower," said 1st Lt. James Fountain, the administrative officer for the 735th. "We also provide the opposing force -- basically playing the bad guys for the MPs as they undergo some training exercises at Camp Clark."
The deploying units have to get validated by the U.S. Army before they can be deployed and that happens at Camp Clark, Fountain said.
"Our job is to help make their mobilization smoother," Fountain said. "What we do is good for morale -- clean clothes and warm food. Financially, it's less expensive for us to do it than for the Guard to contract it out. So basically, this is good training for our guys. We're also saving the Guard money as well as providing a service to our guys who are about to be deployed."
Lt. Daniel Campbell is the commander of the 735th's Detachment 2 out of Jefferson City. His unit returned from Camp Clark on Dec. 23 after a two-week stint helping the Springfield, Mo.-based 1107th Aviation Classification Repair Activity Depot prepare for a deployment.
"Our Soldiers would take in laundry and fold it for them, we did the food preparation and also provided the opposition force for them to train against," Campbell said. "Before, these units went right to their mobilization stations, where the work was often contracted out to people they wouldn't know from Adam. But now they deal with fellow Soldiers. We received nothing but excellent compliments from the 1107th, thanking us for all of our hard work."
For more information about the Missouri National Guard, please call 1-800-GoGuard or visit www.moguard.com.
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