Nine members of the Connecticut Army National Guard bid farewell to their families and friends today and traveled to Fort Bliss, Texas, where they’ll finish training ahead of a nine- to 12-month deployment overseas.
The 242nd Engineer Detachment left Bradley International Airport for Texas this afternoon, where they'll complete their training. After that, the unit will head to Southwest Asia as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, according to Col. John T. Wiltse of the Connecticut Army National Guard.
This construction management team, based in Niantic, specializes in planning and managing engineering projects, Wiltse said.
The unit includes a technical engineering specialist, horizontal construction sergeant, construction operations sergeant and public works construction management officer, according to Wiltse.
The detachment will deconstruct and consolidate bases overseas and will also work to train Afghan National Army engineers.
This is the unit’s first deployment since it received federal recognition in Sept. 2011. It has its roots in the former 242nd Engineer Battalion, a coastal artillery corps unit founded in Bridgeport in 1922, according to Wiltse.
The 242nd Detachment is the first Connecticut Army National Guard unit to deploy in 2014.