NCNG Deployment Ceremony Held in Lincolnton on Saturday

Lincolnton

Nearly 160 North Carolina National Guard soldiers of Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 113th Field Artillery marched to the applause, cheers and tears of friends, family and neighbors at their mobilization ceremony held at the James W. Warren Citizens Center in Lincolnton on March 28.

The soldiers are deploying to Bahrain, an island nation in the Persian Gulf between Saudi Arabia and Iran.  They are deploying in support of U.S. Navy Central Command’s ongoing mission in the region.

“Every soldier in the unit has enlisted in time of war, there is no greater act of courage,” said Army Brigadier General James C. Ernst, NCNG assistant adjutant general-maneuver, to the crowd at the center.

It is a snapshot of small town America at war. Before the ceremony, local Boy Scouts welcome the more than 700 visitors to the center. Flags are waved by kids of all ages. Veterans of previous wars thank the men and women of the unit. News media interview young mothers as they hold small children. Red Cross volunteers hand out nearly any homemade treat one could easily imagine.

“I have never seen any place like Lincolnton, the outgoing respect and support,” said Capt. Bradley J. Murray, commander of the battery.

This outpouring of support is not reserved for just the soldiers.

“It is not just one hug or one call but everyone being willing to help out,” said the wife of Spc. Adrian Stroud.

The community is no stranger to their sons and daughters deploying. This is the third time they have answered the nation’s call. The previously two times were for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005 and 2009.

As part of the dual mission of the National Guard, the soldiers were activated in 2012 to support the Democratic National Convention. Their mission was to secure key facilities throughout the city of Charlotte and be prepared to react should civil unrest present itself.

The unit's armories are located in Lincolnton and Statesville.

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Contact: Sgt. Fst. Class Robert Jordon
Phone: (919) 664-6242

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