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NEWS | Aug. 14, 2023

Departure Ceremony for Kentucky Guardsmen deploying to Southwest Asia

By Capt. James Williams, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Friends, family, and the community gathered to bid farewell to more than 100 Kentucky National Guard Soldiers assigned to the 138th Field Artillery Brigade, “Kentucky Thunder,” at the Clive E. Beck Center, on the Transylvania University campus Aug. 13. 

The Lexington-based unit will deploy to Southwest Asia in a scheduled nine-month deployment in support of Operation Spartan Shield.   

Governor Andy Beshear attended the ceremony. “Kentucky has the best National Guard in the country, and we are proud to watch them once again step up to defend our freedoms and protect our families. Britainy and I will continue to pray for the 138th Field Artillery Brigade – and all our soldiers – who bravely serve our great country and commonwealth,” he said.  

The Kentucky Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Lamberton, was also in attendance. “Their unwavering commitment to serving our great country and commonwealth exemplifies the true spirit of the Kentucky National Guard,” he said. “May their journey be safe, and their dedication to maintaining peace and security in the region be a source of pride for us all."  

The 138th FAB will deploy to support the U.S. Army Central Command’s footprint in the Southwest Asian countries of Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Qatar and Kuwait. Assigned to Task Force Spartan, the Kentucky Thunder will continue to maintain and build partnerships with our regional partners through joint exercises and cultural exchanges. This mission reinforces the United States’ enduring commitment to the security and territorial defense of our allies and partners in the region. 

The 138th FAB will serve as the Force Field Artillery Headquarters for the U.S. Army Central Command. In this role, Kentucky Thunder will directly impact and accelerate the ongoing work with the United States’ Allies and partners to integrate and enhance a regionally networked air and missile defense to maintain peace and security in the region. 

This farewell ceremony served as an opportunity for the community to show their support and gratitude to the Soldiers before their departure. The Kentucky National Guard Command Staff was also present at the event to bid farewell to the unit. 

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