Carthage Soldier deploys to support humanitarian mission in Guatemala

By Capt. Michelle Matthews

COBAN, Guatemala - A Carthage Soldier has deployed with the Missouri National to support the Beyond the Horizon 2012 exercise in Guatemala.

Sgt. Sam Scott, who serves with the 294th Engineer Company as a Heavy Equipment Operator, is in Guatemala supporting Beyond the Horizon 2012. Scott, who deployed to support Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003-2004 and assisted in the building of Camp Victory in Baghdad, said this is his first humanitarian assistance deployment.

"I enjoy the partnership between the Missouri Army National Guard engineer Soldiers and the Guatemalan Army engineers," Scott said.

The mission, led by Task Force Arriero commander Lt. Col. John Findley, is to provide the new construction of at least one school and a clinic, as well as a roof replacement on a clinic, and a bathroom renovation at another clinic by July. The Missouri Guard also will work with the Reserves and Air Force on three medical and dental readiness training exercises, where citizens of Guatemala will receive free health care.

The mission is an important training opportunity for the Guardsmen, who Scott said are learning quite a bit from the Guatemalan Army engineers.

"I didn't know how to pour and lay a concrete floor, and because our counterparts were willing to train us, I know how to do it now and I can take my knowledge back to the States," Scott said.

Beyond the Horizon is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored, U.S. Army South-conducted joint military and humanitarian exercise. The Missouri National Guard will remain in Guatemala until mid-July when the construction projects and medical readiness missions will conclude.

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