Alaska guardsmen deploy to Guantanamo Bay

ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News Spc. Alfred Smith of Wasilla, left, introduces his son Skyler, nine months, to Staff Sgt. Wayne Chaput of Juneau, right, and his daughter Sarah, 4, prior to a deployment departure ceremony for 53 Alaska Army National Guardsmen in the 761st Military Police Battalion on Monday afternoon, October 14, 2013, on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska. The soldiers will travel to Fort Bliss, Texas, for final pre-mobilization training, joining 30 Guardsmen who left Alaska in September. The unit will then serve at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as part of Joint Task Force Guantanamo Joint Detention Group. Total deployment will last about one year.

ANCHORAGE — About 50 Alaska Army National Guard members will deploy to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The guardsmen from the 761 Military Police Battalion, 38th Troop Command, will serve about a year in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

A deployment ceremony was set for Monday afternoon at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

The soldiers will join up with about 30 members of a subordinate unit who deployed in September for training in Texas ahead of the Guantanamo Bay assignment.

The guardsmen will care for detainees and conduct intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination.

Soldiers deploying come from Anchorage, Chugiak, Delta Junction, Eagle River, Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan, North Pole, Palmer, Valdez, Wasilla and Wrangell

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