As part of the U.S. Army’s ongoing overseas operational requirements, the 1st Battalion (Ironman), 133rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Iowa Army National Guard, recently received deployment orders for Operation Spartan Shield in the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Area of Responsibility (AOR).
This is the first of several deployments announced by Maj. Gen. Ben Corell, the Iowa National Guard Adjutant General, during his recent Condition of the Guard address to the Iowa General Assembly on Jan. 16.
The Ironman Battalion will deploy with approximately 550 Soldiers mobilizing from National Guard armories in seven Iowa communities: Charles City, Davenport, Dubuque, Iowa City, Iowa Falls, Oelwein and Waterloo.
Their primary mission will involve area security and force protection operations in the CENTCOM AOR, which encompasses 27 countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, among others.
This is the fifth federal mobilization for the Ironman Battalion since 2000, including a nearly 22-month mobilization in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from September 2005 through
August 2007. The battalion’s most recent deployment was to Afghanistan in 2010.
The battalion is currently working to schedule send-off ceremonies, which will occur at the end of May. The Ironman Battalion will then travel to Ft. Bliss, Texas, to complete its final training and readiness checks before deploying overseas. The deployment is expected to last approximately one year.
The Iowa National Guard is experiencing an increase in deployments as a number of its units come into their “mission year” as part of the U.S. Army’s current force generation cycle. The Army’s switch to the Sustainable Readiness Model (SRM) in 2016 sought to increase the number of National Guard and Reserve units available for operational deployments.
For the last four years, the battalion, along with several additional Iowa Army National Guard units, have steadily built readiness as they progress through the various phases of the SRM cycle.
The Iowa National Guard family services branch is hosting a Joining Community Forces (JCF) event at the Waterloo Readiness Center, 3106 Airport Blvd., on Feb. 11, starting at 9 a.m., for organizations interested in coming together to support the northeast Iowa military community. JCF is an effort to connect the local community with Soldiers and their families in preparation for the upcoming deployment.