875th Arrives in Iraq

OCTOBER 16, 2006 - Posted at 11:32 a.m. CDT

BAGHDAD, IRAQ - Soldiers with the Arkansas Army National Guard's northeast Arkansas-based 875th Engineer Battallion have arrived in Baghdad, Iraq.  The soldiers stepped off their transport aircraft in Baghdad late last week and were soon greeted by the "happy faces" of the unit they are replacing.

The Missouri Army National Guard's 110th Engineering Battalion is wrapping up a one-year deployment in Baghdad in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, happy to begin the transition process and turn its mission over the the 875th.  Approximately 500 soldiers strong, the 875th, which also now includes a detachment unit from Vermont, mobilized in March and underwent deployment training at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, before deploying to Iraq.

The 875th transitioned to Iraq after a ten-day stay at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, where they received theatre-specific training and began acclimating to the hot Middle Eastern climate.  The majority of the 875th has since moved forward to northern Iraq at Balad's Camp Anaconda, while a portion of the battalion remains in Baghdad.

The engineers with the 875th have started learning the ropes by integrating personnel and staff throughout all parts of the current 110th mission operation.

The 875th is headquartered in Jonesboro, with units based in Paragould, Harrisburg, and Marked Tree.  The battalion also has assets from the Vermont Army National Guard's 131st Engineer Company and the Indiana Army National Guard's 1313th Engineer Company serving with them during the deployment.

(Staff Sgt. Chris Durney with the 875th's Public Affairs wing contributed to this report.)