On Jan. 5, 2004, B Battery, 3rd Battalion, 112th Field Artillery mobilized for deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
From Jan. 7 to Feb. 21, the Battery underwent military police training at Fort Dix, which included military police weapons systems and tasks. The unit then deployed to Kuwait for theater specific training and certification. By March 7, it had moved to Camp Cuervo in Baghdad, Iraq, where it was attached to the 89th Military Police Brigade and operationally re-designated as C Company. The company received additional training from the unit it was replacing. C Company Soldiers learned important real-world lessons during this “right seat ride” transition period.
In April, C Company began conducting patrols and providing site security at Iraqi police stations in eastern Baghdad, including Sadr City. The unit later began training and equipping Iraqi police at several stations in their area of operations.
From April 15 to May 15, one platoon was tasked to support the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in Fallujah. Their mission was to patrol the main supply route between Fallujah and Baghdad, escort supply convoys, and provide security for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams searching for and disarming improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The remainder of the company remained in eastern Baghdad to continue patrolling and site security operations.
More than 300 New Jersey Army National Guard Soldiers were called to active duty on Title 10 orders.
The mobilized troops were drawn primarily from 1st Battalion, 114th Infantry to include Headquarters and Headquarters Company, located in Woodbury; A Company headquartered in Mount Holly; B Company located in Freehold; and C Company headquartered in Burlington.
The Jersey Guard troops were deployed to the Arabian Peninsula as part of the Multinational Forces and Observer (MFO). During that deployment, the Battalion became the first Army National Guard unit to win the Multinational Forces and Observerís Force Skills Competition. The Competition is similar to the Olympics but focuses on Soldierís skills. The New Jersey Guardsmen competed against soldiers from Columbia, Fiji Islands, Australia, Britain, France, Hungary, Italy and New Zealand in events including an obstacle course, five-kilometer run, land navigation and first aid knowledge.
The 1st Battalion, 114th Infantry was welcomed home in February 2005 after completing the six-month deployment to the Sinai Peninsula.
Beginning in May 2004, more than 1,400 members of the New Jersey Army National Guard participated in the largest reserve component division mobilization since World War II when they were called to extended active duty service in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The Soldiers were drawn from Detachment 2, 42nd Division, headquartered in Lawrenceville; Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 42nd Division Support Command headquartered in Somerset; Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, A Company and C Company, 50th Main Support Battalion (MSB), headquartered in Teaneck; E Company, 50th MSB headquartered in Jersey City; Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 250th Signal Battalion, headquartered in Westfield; A Company, 250th Signal headquartered in Cherry Hill; C Company, 250th Signal Battalion headquartered in Somerset; Headquarters and Headquarters Company, A Company and C Company, 150th General Support Aviation Battalion, headquartered in West Trenton; Detachment 1, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment and B Company, 642nd Division Aviation Support Battalion, headquartered in West Trenton; and Detachment 2, 42nd Military Police, headquartered in Lawrenceville.
In October 2004, the Jersey Guard troops deployed to Iraq to provide command and control, logistical and aviation support to three separate Infantry Brigade Combat Teams.
The more than 18-month deployment that included National Guard, Army Reserve and active-duty Army Soldiers from 13 states was part of the third round of rotations of Guard and Reserve units called up in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The 150th General Aviation Support Battalion and 642nd Division Aviation Support Battalion deploy to Iraq on Veterans Day - Nov. 11, 2004. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, NJDMAVA/PA.
"Salute the Troops" ceremony
On May 1, 2004 the first "Salute the Troops" ceremony was held at the Sovereign Bank Arena for the New Jersey Soldiers deploying to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Declan Callan, NJDMAVA/PA. photo below: On Nov.22, the sixth and final "Salute the Troops" ceremony was held at Trenton War Memorial. The Ceremony honored both the 119th Corps Support Battalion, which deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and A and C Batteries of the 3rd battalion, 112th Field Artillery, which deployed to Germany in support of Operation Enduring freedom. photo by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, NJDMAVA/PA.
The largest "Salute the Troops" ceremony was held at the Sovereign Bank Arena in trenton on Oct. 9, 2004. Approximately 4,000 family members filled the Arena to honor the more than 2,100 Soldiers of the 42nd Infantry Division. Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Reith, The Adjutant general; hosted the event for Maj. Gen. Joseph Taluto, Commander, 42nd Infantry Division. The event included performances by country western singer Jeffery Wade Clark and the New York USO troupe. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, NJDMAVA/PA.
|(c) 2008 NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs|