Adan Guzman of Perry will be among the 180 Iowans deploying Friday, Sept. 29 with the Iowa Army National Guard unit in Boone.
Guzman is a generator mechanic in the Guard. Since graduating from Perry High School in 2013, he has been taking general education classes at DMACC and working at his brother’s construction company. He hopes eventually to study engineering at Iowa State University.
Guzman, 22, was born in Mexico but has lived in the U.S. since the age of 2. He came to Perry when his parents took jobs at Tyson Fresh Meats.
He and his brother, Jose Guzman, 24, joined the Army National Guard at the same time. They are the first in their family to serve in the U.S. military.
“I’m excited and not really nervous at all,” Adan Guzman told ThePerryNews.com. “I’m happy to gain the experience and do something that a lot of people don’t get to do.”
Guzman, who also has two sisters who are very proud of their soldier brothers, is part of the 248th Aviation Support Battalion, which is comprised of aircraft maintainers, test pilots and logistical support personnel. A total of about 500 Army National Guard soldiers with detachments from four other states will be mobilized for this mission, but close to 80 percent are from Iowa.
The soldiers will travel to their mobilization station at Fort Hood, Texas, for about two months of additional training before assigned to overseas locations in the U.S. Central Command theater of operation.
Central Command is comprised of 20 nations in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, including Afghanistan, Iraq and other hot spots. This will be the largest single-unit deployment of the Iowa National Guard since 2010.
The battalion’s mission is “to provide aviation maintenance and logistical support to a combat aviation brigade, which includes aircraft diagnostics, repair, maintenance, refueling, medical support, supply support activities, ground maintenance and testing,” according to a statement from the Army National Guard.
Units within the ASB have previously mobilized in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from 2001 to 2004, Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2008 to 2009 and Kosovo Force peacekeeping in 2013 and 2014.
Community send-off ceremonies for the 248th Aviation Support Battalion (ASB) will be held around the state Sept. 29. Local officials and Iowa National Guard leadership will participate, and the public is welcome and encouraged to attend the send-off ceremonies.
The Boone ceremonies will include Detachment 1, Headquarters Support Company and Company B, with approximately 180 soldiers to be honored at a 5 p.m. ceremony in the Boone High School gym, 500 Seventh St., Boone, Iowa.
Detachment 1, Company A: approximately 30 soldiers will be honored at a 10 a.m. ceremony in the Iowa National Guard Readiness Center, 5801 Grandview Ave., Muscatine, Iowa.
Headquarters Support Company and Detachment 4, Company B: approximately 75 soldiers will be honored at a 10 a.m. ceremony in the Davenport Army Aviation Support Facility, 9650 N. Harrison St., Davenport, Iowa.
Company A and Detachment 3, Company B: approximately 105 soldiers will be honored at a 2 p.m. ceremony in the University of Northern Iowa West Gym, 2501 Minnesota St., UNI Campus, Cedar Falls, Iowa.