The unit -- which draws Soldiers from the 1140th Engineer Battalion in Cape Girardeau -- is part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and will be conducting route clearance missions.
Soldiers spent 29 days training at Camp Crowder and Camp Clark for pre-mobilization training that allowed them to learn necessary skills for deployment. Training conducted there included weapons qualifications, route clearance operations and tactics, battle drills and warrior tasks.
Currently, Soldiers are finalizing appropriate training for deployment at Fort Bliss, Texas, including squad and platoon battle drills and tasks while being in vehicles and environments similar to that in which they will encounter while deployed. After mobilization training, the Soldiers will deploy to Afghanistan in mid-August.
Hester joined the Missouri Army National Guard in January 2012 and is a combat engineer. This will be his first overseas deployment.
"I'm very excited and little nervous to be doing this," said Hester. "But I'm ready to do what I've been called up to do."
While deployed, the company will fall under the command and control of the 120th Engineer Battalion, Oklahoma National Guard. The Soldiers are scheduled to return in the spring of 2013.
Hester is a graduate of Scott City High School and works for Newell Rubbermaid Inc. He is supported in his military career by his daughter, Jessica, 11; and his parents, Doug and Darlene Hester, of Scott City.
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