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Members of Guard's 1137th preparing for deployment to Qatar
KENNETT, Mo. -- About 130 members of the Missouri Army National Guard's 1137th Military Police Company were training Sunday as they prepare for deployment to Qatar.
Based in Kennett, the 1137th has detachments in Doniphan, Mo., and Jackson and its soldiers will be among more than 450 from across the state taking part in the deployment.
The soldiers' deployment ceremony will be at 9 a.m. Friday at the Kennett High School, 1400 W. Washington St. It will be one of four such ceremonies to be held Friday across the state.
The soldiers are deploying to Qatar on a security mission and will be providing security for military bases and personnel in Qatar, which is both a staging area for equipment and a rest and relaxation area for soldiers, according to Michelle Queiser, the unit's public affairs representative.
The soldiers had been conducting premobilization training at Camp Crowder in Neosho, Mo., for the past month, Queiser said.
That training, Queiser said, included "basic warrior tasks that every soldier must be proficient in before any deployment."
Today, the soldiers will return home for a few days before Friday's ceremony, Queiser said. The soldiers' active duty status, she said, starts Thursday.
During the ceremony, according to Queiser, the soldiers will be recognized for their service and mission to Qatar.
An American flag will be given to the oldest soldier and a Missouri flag to the youngest, to be flown overseas for the duration of the unit's deployment, Queiser said. Speakers for the ceremony will include National Guard representatives, as will as state political leaders.
After their ceremony, the soldiers will go to Camp Shelby, Miss., for a month of mobilization training, Queiser said.
From there, Queiser said, the soldiers will go to Qatar for eight months. Qatar is located across the Persian Gulf from Iran and serves as the central hub for all U.S. military activity in the region.
The soldiers will be under the command of the 175th MP Battalion and Lt. Col. Sharon Martin. Each of the units fall under the 70th Troop Command control, the largest brigade of the Missouri National Guard.