On Sunday, July 26, the 60 soldiers of the Louisville/Alcoa Detachment of the Tennessee Army National Guard's 252nd Military Police Company departed on the first leg of a one-year deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
With fellow members of the 252nd from Cleveland, Tennessee, the group will travel to Fort Dix, New Jersey, for a short period of advanced, pre-deployment training before leaving for Iraq.
Send-off ceremonies for the Louisville detachment were held on the afternoon of the 26th at the Army Aviation Support Facility 2 (AASF-2) on McGhee Tyson Air Base. Following the ceremonies, the detachment traveled directly to Cleveland to join Cleveland’s Headquarters unit.
After joining the Cleveland detachment, the combined company of 170 soldiers was honored in a ceremony on July 28 at Bradley Central High School in Cleveland.
With family and friends in attendance for one final send-off, the 252nd left the Cleveland armory by bus for the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport on the morning of Wednesday, July 29.
Following this deployment, almost 14,500 men and women of the Tennessee National Guard have been called on to serve in the armed forces since September 11, 2001.