Guard units not scheduled for deployment
Wisconsin National Guardsmen who are members of the 32nd Infantry Brigade, including River Falls and New Richmond-based units, were notified last fall that they may be called up to another overseas deployment during the fall of 2013.
The news had the soldiers assigned to Company B, 1-128th Infantry National Guard units in New Richmond and River Falls wondering what was in store for them. Officials expected any deployment would be to Afghanistan, but troop levels have been reduced dramatically in that war-torn country over the past months.
At a recent picnic for Company B in New Richmond, leaders indicated that the local units were still “on the radar” in terms of a possible deployment.
Word came this week, however, that there are no immediate plans to include the local soldiers in an upcoming deployment.
According to Maj. Paul Rickert, director of communications with the Wisconsin National Guard, neither New Richmond nor River Falls is on the deployment list at the present time.
He said the state National Guard organization normally doesn’t make official announcements regarding units that are not deploying, but they made an exception in this case. Rickert said because local soldiers were alerted to a possible deployment some months ago, a statement regarding their current status was warranted.
The 32nd Brigade last deployed in 2009 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The brigade performed multiple missions at numerous locations in Iraq, including base security and detainee operations.