Iowa City and Mason City will deploy soldiers to Poland this summer or early fall of this year to provide transportation and medical aid.
More than 200 Iowa Army National Guard members from Iowa City and Mason City will deploy to Poland as tensions between Russia and Ukraine rise — deployments not directly related to conflict , Major Katherine Headley, director of public affairs for the Iowa National Guard, wrote in an email to The Iowan Daily.
“These deployments have been ongoing for some time now and are unrelated to current events,” Headley wrote.
As part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence mission, soldiers will provide transport, equipment, supplies and field hospital support services. The rollout is expected to take place in the summer or fall, Headley said.
“The Iowa National Guard is working on scheduling farewell ceremonies, which will be announced at a later date,” the press release read.
The Department of Defense and the National Guard Bureau tasked two Iowa-based companies, the 1133rdd Transportation Company of Mason City and the 209th Medical Company Area Support of Iowa City, to send approximately 250 troops from the Iowa in Poland, according to the statement.
Maj. Gen. Ben Corell, adjutant general of the Iowa National Guard, announced the mobilization during the State of the Guard address in January, the statement said.
“Atlantic Resolve is part of the Eastern Europe Focused Deterrence Initiative. This allows the United States to deter adversaries while supporting our NATO partners,” Correll said during his speech.
At this time, the specific 250 soldiers have not been selected for the mission, but they will be announced during the commissioning ceremonies this summer or fall.
Prior to the upcoming deployment, missions took the 209th unit to Iraq in 2003, New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and its most recent mission in 2020 to aid COVID-19 response efforts throughout Iowa.