Local community members toured the 45th Field Artillery Brigade, which is headquartered in Mustang, Sept. 14.
The members, who are attendees of Positive Posse, a group that meets every Tuesday at the Mustang Town Center, also learned more about the FAB from officials during a presentation. The brigade is a part of the Oklahoma Army National Guard and is located on 40 acres at 420 Cedar Springs Lane in Mustang.
Brig. Gen. Jon Harrison said the Guard is the state’s fourth largest employer at 9,000 people.
In Mustang, there are approximately 720 FAB members.
Guard members have two missions — federal and state.
“We really love our state mission,” Lt. Col. Kale Rogers said.
Nearly 500 guard members departed from the brigade Sept. 1 to assist with Hurricane Ida
support efforts. Throughout two and a half weeks, Task Force Oklahoma provided food, water, ice and other supplies to more than 77,000 families in Louisiana.
The members made their way back to Oklahoma Sept. 14.
Providing support to local authorities is a part of the Guard’s state mission. As guard members often help with natural disasters, Maj. Brent Hill noted they must be asked by authorities to do so.
They were asked to provide assistance after Hurricane Ida by Louisiana’s Office of Emergency Management.
Federal missions entail destroying enemies with fire. One of the most important aspects of both missions is guard members are trying to save lives, Hill said.
The Guard is constantly looking for prospective people to recruit, the major added. Along with their Army responsibilities, guard members are citizens from all backgrounds, ranging from attorneys to teachers.
Like Hill, many did not begin their careers with the Guard based on patriotism.
Hill joined the Guard to help pay for his school. After 9/11 happened and Hill’s family grew, he said his reasons for remaining in the Guard for the last 10 years changed.
As the magnitude for serving one’s country is felt, many members often return to the Guard, as well, Rogers added. In the midst of tragic events, Rogers also said there is always something good that comes out of sacrifice.
To Harrison’s knowledge, there are no more U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.
People interested in learning more about what the Guard offers are encouraged to reach out to Sgt. 1st Class Roderick Chin by calling 405-651-4527 or sending him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.