Families, friends and the community honor some 93 Citizen-Soldiers from the 1138th Engineer Company as they depart for further mobilization training at Fort Bliss, Texas in preparation for their deployment to Afghanistan.
By M. Queiser
FARMINGTON, Mo. - Sgt. Timothy Barker, of Troy, is one of nearly 93 Missouri National Guard Soldiers deploying to Afghanistan with the 1138th Engineer Company, of Farmington.
The unit - which draws Soldiers from the 1140th Engineer Battalion in Cape Girardeau - is part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and will be conducting route clearance missions.
Soldiers spent 29 days training at Camp Crowder and Camp Clark for pre-mobilization training that allowed them to learn necessary skills for deployment. Training conducted there included weapons qualifications, route clearance operations and tactics, battle drills and warrior tasks.
Currently, Soldiers are finalizing appropriate training for deployment at Fort Bliss, Texas, including squad and platoon battle drills and tasks while being in vehicles and environments similar to that in which they will encounter while deployed. After mobilization training, the Soldiers will deploy to Afghanistan in mid-August.
Barker has been with the Missouri Army National Guard for seven years and is a combat engineer. He deployed in 2007-2008 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 1138th.
This is his second deployment with the unit and he's looking forward to serving again with his fellow Soldiers, said Barker.
While deployed, the company will fall under the command and control of the 120th Engineer Battalion, Oklahoma National Guard. The Soldiers are scheduled to return in the spring of 2013.
Rodgers is a graduate of Lindenwood University. He is supported in his military career by his daughter, Kiersten, 18; his mother, Barb Ruch, of Lake Saint Louis; and his father, Rex Barker, of Bonne Terre.
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