IOLA – The 891st Battalion out of Iola has recently been sent to Salina for a few weeks of training, specializing in weapons qualifications and first aid.
In the group’s first deployment since 2005, most of the battalion’s members will be headed to Kuwait. However, Chanute’s Nick Thompson and Scottie Love will be headed to Southwest Asia.
The purpose of their mission is unknown, but both will serve around a year overseas.
“We are currently in Salina going through training, then will be shipped to Texas for more training,” Love said. “From there we will go to Southwest Asia for around a year.”
The reason the process lasts up to a year is that the unit has to go through the mobilization and demobilization process.
Roughly 150 guardsmen will be headed to Kuwait.
Chanute native Aimee Thompson, Nick’s wife, said the battalion will head home on July 1st before going overseas on July 5th.
This will be Thompson’s second deployment after he was sent to Afghanistan in 2005.
While a real send-off for the soldiers has been cancelled, Allen County Sheriff Bryan Murphy will provide an escort for the troops on the day of their departure.
While the route is still unknown, the sheriff’s department will escort the guardsmen to the Allen County line and hopes for members of the surrounding communities to show up on the route with signs of love and encouragement, letting the guardsmen know they are supported.
“I would love to see everyone show up with signs safely along the route expressing their support,” Murphy said. “We will release the timing and the route details as they are provided to us.”