RALEIGH, N.C. – Soldiers marched into a packed house for the North Carolina National Guard’s 630th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion’s mobilization ceremony in Granite Falls, N.C., March 23.
More than 45 Soldiers will deploy in support of the Treaty of Peace between Egypt and Israel; a Multinational Force Observer (MFO) mission that was established in the Sinai Peninsula more than 30 years ago.
The MFO is an independent international organization, specifically created to oversee compliance of the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty of 1979.
The Lenoir-based unit will be responsible for overall command and control of sustainment operations, which includes transportation and postal service support for the region. The unit will support forces from 12 other nations such as Canada, Australia, France, Italy and Hungary, just to name a few.
“I really can’t say enough about the talent and capabilities of this group of men and women,” said Army Lt. Col. Gregory Bunck, Battalion Commander of the 630th. “Our mission in the Egyptian Sinai is critical work for our nation and the preservation of peace in a turbulent region in the world.”
The mobilization ceremony was held at the Mountain Grove Church in Granite Falls. The entiment and quaint setting gave the Soldiers a chance to say their final goodbyes before heading out to Camp Atterbury, Wisc., for follow on training before deploying to Egypt in early spring.
The event was supported by several federal and state government officials, to include Caldwell County leadership and senior leaders from the N.C. Guard. Government officials such as U.S. Senator Kay Hagan also voiced support to the deploying unit and their families through thoughtful letters.
“I want to extend a heartfelt appreciation for answering the call of duty and serving not only our country, but the great State of North Carolina,” said Hagan in her letter. “There are no words to describe the gratitude that our citizens have for our servicemembers; having so graciously and selflessly accepted the call.”
“Just like when the first militiaman dropped his plow and picked up his rifle over 376 years ago and answered the call that led to the birthplace of a nation,” said Army Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, adjutant general of North Carolina. “You too are willing to make that same sacrifice and are willing to do whatever it takes in order to preserve and protect the freedoms that we all enjoy.”
U.S. Representative Mark Meadows, who represents North Carolina’s 11th District, attended the event as well and he talked about what a valuable asset the 630th Soldiers provided to the community and our nation.
Meadows is no stranger to the region the Soldiers are going; he also currently sits on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. This committee considers legislation that impacts the Department of State, the Agency for International Development (USAID), the Peace Corps, United Nations and the enforcement of the Arms Export Control Act. Together they discuss measures of what the United States’ role abroad will be and how they can influence decisions on national security or identify potential friction between nations.
“You are truly honoring our country and our flag,” said Meadows. “You go to provide a stabilizing force in a region right now that is set to be a very difficult place.”
Meadows thanked all of the Soldiers and their families for making the sacrifice to serve and to take on this very important support mission.
The ceremony concluded with the Soldiers and their families treated to a buffet style dinner in the church’s sanctuary. The Soldiers interacted with family and friends and began preparation for the next year they will spend in Egypt.
Coincidently, the unit will be supporting another NCNG unit, the 5-113th Field Artillery, headquartered in Louisburg. The 5-113th FA is currently working with other MFO’s in the region in order to observe, report, and confirm violations of the Treaty of Peace and to facilitate the continuing peace between Israel and Egypt.
This is not the only time the unit has deployed. In 1991, the 630th deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. They deployed again to Iraq in 2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; a deployment which earned the unit a Meritorious Unit Commendation.
“I thank you for answering the call, for being willing to sacrifice and I will be praying for you on a daily basis,” said Meadows.
EDITORS AND PRODUCERS: To see more photos from the 630th CSSB Mobilization Ceremony, please visit our Flickr Page at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ncngpao/sets/72157633070790865/. For any questions, please contact the North Carolina National Guard Public Affairs Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (919) 664-6242. For more NCNG news, visit our website: www.nc.ngb.army.mil/. To become a Facebook fan of the NCNG, please visit www.facebook.com/NCnationalguard or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NCnationalguard. To view additional pictures from this and other events, visit www.flickr.com/photos/ncngpao.