CT National Guard to deploy 120 to Guantanamo Bay
HARTFORD-Families, friends and well-wishers will fill the William A. O’Neill Armory Tuesday bid adieu to 120 members of the 643rd Military Police Co. of the Connecticut National Guard as they prepare for deployment to Cuba.
This marks the first deployment of state guardsmen this year, said Major General Fran Evon, the Adjutant General and commanding officer of the Connecticut National Guard.
"It may be the unit's first deployment in over a decade, but the Guardsmen of the 643rd Military Police Company are well trained and well prepared for this mission," Evon said. "I also want to recognize the families and employers of our Guardsmen, who play a key role in making their training and deployment possible. Thank you for everything you do to support our men and women in uniform."
The send-off will take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Armory located at 360 Broad Street in Hartford.
It also marks the first time the 643rd Military Police Company will be sent to Cuba where they will be responsible for the Guantanamo Bay’s detainee operations as part of the continuing Operating Enduring Freedom. The company will work under the command of Capt. Robin Felder. The last time the unit was deployed on an overseas mission was in 2006 when it spent more than a year in Germany..
While this is the first Guantanamo Bay assignment for the 643rd, it is not the first for a Connecticut National Guard unit. In 2015, members of the 192nd Military Police Battalion was sent there on a similar mission..
The 643rd unit is expected to leave Connecticut in mid-March. They will travel to an active duty U.S. Army post in Texas for additional training prior to deploying to Guantanamo Bay. This deployment brings the total number of Connecticut National Guardsmen serving in support of operations worldwide to over 300.