Iowa Soldiers Mobilized For Medical Mission

Aug 25, 2017

These helicopters are part of a medical mission by a Waterloo-based National Guard unit that will be deployed to a 20 nation region that includes the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, including Afghanistan and Iraq.
Credit IPR/Pat Blank

An Iowa Army National Guard medical helicopter unit based in Waterloo will leave Saturday for a mission that will eventually take its members to the Middle East and nearby regions.

National Guard spokesperson Greg Hapgood says this assignment will be familiar for many of the 35 soldiers who are part of the group known as the Detachment 1, Company C, 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion.

“This this particular unit has been mobilized multiple times," he said. “The last time was in 2012, so it’s only been approximately four to five years since the last time they went. It’s a  well-trained unit, highly specialized, very much qualified and ready to go and do this job.” 

This National Guard unit is headed to Texas for additional training before being deployed overseas.
Credit Pat Blank/IPR

Hapgood says the group will go first to Fort Hood, Texas for additional training.  He says the medevac unit will then head overseas to provide transportation of medical supplies and patients to combat hospitals in a 20 nation region which includes the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia. The mission was planned well in advance of President Trump’s speech this week about increasing U.S. troop numbers in Afghanistan.