NEWS | Jan. 6, 2022

Kentucky’s 438th MP’s head to Kosovo

By Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Crane Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

Kentucky National Guard leadership, friends and family gathered at the Barn at White Oaks to bid farewell to the Soldiers of the 438th Military Police Company Jan. 5.

The 438th MP Co., based out of Murray, Ky., will be heading to Kosovo for a year-long mission to provide Military Police Liaison Officer Support to Operation Joint Guardian.

The unit is comprised of Soldiers trained in force protection, anti-terrorism, area security, and police intelligence operations.

“Every deployment, every mission we conduct is important,” said Brig. Gen. Brian Wertzler, Deputy Adjutant General for Kentucky. “The 438th MP Company will support NATO and provide military based combat support operations in support of the Kosovo Force Regional Command East. Their primary missions will include keeping law and order, provide security, conduct anti-terror operations and civil support operations. Their deployment size may be small, but their impact on mission will be great.”

He went on to say that the force behind the force was the Soldiers family members and he thanked them for keeping things going at home. He also asked them to stay strong and told them that their sacrifices didn't go unnoticed.

“As much as this departure ceremony is for the Soldiers, it’s also for you,” said Wertzler. “It's a way for us to personally offer each of you our sincere appreciation for the hardships that you may endure while they’re gone. We recognize the challenges that come when we leave you behind to take care of children and maintain the household. We're all sincerely grateful for the sometimes thankless long hours and dedicated hard work that you provided to your family and ultimately to the nation. Thus allowing them to perform their duty in a professional manner. Your sacrifices to their service is greatly appreciated by us all.”

The commander of the 198th Military Police Battalion was also on hand to see the 438th off. He too thanked the families and showed his appreciation for what they do while their Soldiers is away.

“You have allowed your loved ones to step away from home a lot in the last year,” said Maj. Curtis Persinger to the crowd of family members. “Please stay involved. Please stay engaged. Take your time and reach out to the 438th’s readiness group.”

He continued.

“I cannot put into words how proud I am of this group as they move on to Kosovo. I can't wait to receive good reports while you're deployed. But in the meantime, the rest of us will continue to hold the line.”

It has been 15 years since this unit was called upon to leave the commonwealth of Kentucky. But according to the 438th’s commander, his Soldiers are more ready than ever to take on whatever they will face overseas.

“This profession is for the courageous, persistent and mentally tough,” said commander of the 438th, 1st Lt. Samuel Nein. “No better words describe the men and women who sit before us today. Soldiers of the 438th MP company, we are prepared, we’re ready and we will succeed whenever the opportunities presented.”

He also challenged his troops to be the standard that others will look too.

“We will perform our duties with integrity, loyalty and honesty. We will develop a personal example of high standard and results,” he said.

The 438th will be joining up with the 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry Regiment, and they will first be going to Fort Bliss, Tx., for a three month train-up prior to arriving in Kosovo.

The unit has mobilized twice since Sept. 11, to Cuba in 2002 and Iraq in 2007.

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