Tuesday, November 30, 2010

They'll Be Home for Christmas ... 2011

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 12:43 PM

More than 100 soldiers of the Boise-based 391st Engineer Company of the U.S. Army Reserve are mobilizing for a yearlong deployment to Iraq.

"Our mission will be to conduct route clearance operations," said Company Commander Capt. Ryan Strong. "The IED [improvised explosive device] threat is still there in Iraq."


Strong told Citydesk the Army has made great strides since the beginning of the war in much of the equipment his men will be using.

"They've designed the new vehicles to sustain a greater blast," said Strong. "As the technology increases, there's also a greater chance of survivability of the soldiers inside the vehicles."

If you've seen the Oscar-winner The Hurt Locker, well, this is the real thing. The 391st EN CON detects and neutralizes explosive hazards on main supply routes in Iraq.


For many of the young men of the 391st, this will be their first deployment into a theater of war. This is Strong's second—he spent 15 months in Iraq in 2005-2006.

"I'm almost looking forward to the differences between now and then," said Strong. "It's my understanding that the changes are staggering."

Thursday, the local chapter of the VFW and Veterans Support Services will sponsor a goodbye event for families of the soldiers. That same day, the 391st ships out.

"That'll be a tough day for everybody," Strong told Citydesk. "The good Lord willing, we'll be back in Boise for Christmas 2011."

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