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.
Southern has been with the Missouri Army National Guard for 15 years and is a combat engineer. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 to 2005 with Company C, 1140th Engineer Battalion.
"I want to help win the global fight on terrorism and I hope all our troops will come home safe," said Southern.
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.
Southern is a graduate of Scott City High School and is currently attending Southeast Missouri State University. He works for the Missouri National Guard Funeral Honors. He is supported in his military career by his wife, Jessica, and his parents, Jesse Richardson, deceased, and Patricia Cain, of Elko, Nev.
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