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900th departure ceremony Tuesday

A departure ceremony for the 900th Maintenance Company of the Alabama National Guard in Brundidge will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10 at Cattleman Park. The unit has been activated for a 12-month tour of duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The public is invited to attend.

The departure ceremony will feature remarks by Ret. LTC Glenn Evans, Brundidge Mayor Jimmy Ramage, Ret BG Burney Enzor and Al Allenback, who will represent Congressman Bobby Bright.

Special music will be by Jane Martin and Keith Caldwell.

The unit of 170 guardsmen will leave Fort Wendell K. Taylor National Guard Armory in Brundidge for Camp Atterbury in Indiana around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The 900th will train at Camp Atterbury for 40 days before being deployed to Afghanistan.

First Sgt. Greg Corley said about 50 percent of the unit is from the Pike County area.

“The ages range from the 20s to the 40s with several in their 50s,” Corley said.

“We have 23 women in the unit. Some members of the unit were deployed during Operation Desert Strom. Everyone is excited to be a part of the mission. We all are anxious and ready to serve our country.”

Corley said the training at Camp Atterbury will prepare the 900th for convoy duty.

“The 900th is a maintenance company but, in Afghanistan, we will be hauling supplies, including dry goods and refrigerated goods,” he said.

“It will be a rather dangerous mission because we will be outside the wire, going from province to province.”

Each convoy will be accompanied by security vehicles.

“The convoys will go with a MRAPs, Mine Resistant Ambush Protective vehicles,” Corley said.

“The MRAPs are heavy armored vehicles that are designed to survive IED attacks and ambushes and will be throughout the convoys.”

Everyone is encouraged to come out Tuesday in support of the 900th in its mission to protect and preserve freedom in other lands.