Prattville unit preparing to deploy
This will be the second tour in the last six years for the Alabama Army National Guard unit.
The company commander, Capt. David Worthy, and the 170 company members completed pre-mobilization training at Fort McClellan in March. That training reduces the time troops have to spend at the mobilization station, giving them a little bit more time at home.
On Saturday, they unit will have a departure ceremony before heading to Fort Dix in New Jersey for their pre-deployment training. In Iraq, the 217th will provide military police support to coalition forces and conduct police transition team operations to train, mentor and coach the Iraqi police.
The unit first mobilized in Sept. 2002 and that lasted nearly two years. The unit spent their the first 10 months on active duty performing security missions at three Georgia Army posts, Forts Benning, McPherson, and Gillem.
In Sept. 2003, the unit deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where they spent a year guarding some 600 Taliban and Al-Qaeda prisoners. The unit returned to home station in Prattville in mid-July 2004, after more than 22 months on active – the longest continuous active duty tour any Alabama Army Guard unit has served since Sept. 11, 2001.
The general pubic is invited to the ceremony at 2 p.m. on June 27 at Prattville High School, 1315 Upper Kingston Road.