Learn how to support local troops during deployment

Published 6:07 am Friday, December 8, 2017


In the spring of 2018, thousands of soldiers with the Mississippi National Guard’s 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team will deploy overseas for nine months in support of Operation Spartan Shield.

Included in the deployment is Oxford’s Alpha Company 2-198 Armored Regiment which is based out of the National Guard Armory in Oxford, next to the Oxford Conference Center.

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Locally, 40 to 60 soldiers from Oxford and around north Mississippi will join other Mississippi National Guard soldiers in Fort Bliss, Texas for training before being deployed to the Central Command Theater based out of Kuwait.

While the men and women of the National Guard are away from home and their families, local citizens can help provide support to the soldiers.

On Tuesday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the National Guard Armory, the leadership from the Alpha Company 2-198 will present an outreach briefing to anyone who would like to learn more about ways to support the troops while they’re overseas.

The commander, First Sergeant, and other command staff will speak about the deployment – to the extent that they can legally discuss it.

Cpt. Gerald McCarty said he will show a video and provide information about the 155th Combat Team.

“Then we’ll talk about ways to support the soldiers while they’re away,” McCarty said.

McCarty said some ways residents can show support is through letters and care packages.

“We won’t be able to give out any addresses at the meeting as we don’t know exactly where we’ll be,” he said. “But we’ll provide other useful information. This will just be a good chance for the public to come and meet the command staff and ask questions.”

Operation Spartan Shield is U.S. Central Command’s means to deter regional aggression and stabilize countries within the region.

McCarty said the public briefing is part of the National Guard’s Community Outreach Program.

“I’ve been here at the Oxford armory for seven years and people just think it’s some building attached to the Conference Center,” he said. “The community doesn’t really know who we are and what we do and what’s going on with us.”

For more information, call the National Guard Armory at 662-232-7794.