The largest Army National Guard unit in the State of Maine will be leaving shortly to train for its return to Iraq next year. The 133rd Engineer Battalion is headed for aggressive and challenging training session in Germany this summer.
The 133rd Engineers will spend about 3 weeks practicing in Mock Iraqi Villages, and they will help construct other simulated Iraqi villages as part of their actual training.
Many of the faces in the unit are younger, new enlistees that are taking advantage of the enlistment bonuses, training, and benefits that are available to National Guard Servicemembers and their Families. While times are tough economically for many in the United States, joining the U.S. Army National Guard and other units of the U.S. Military is becoming more and more attractive all the time.
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The first deployment to Iraq for the unit was Five Years ago, and many of the new members were not yet part of the Unit.
The Maine Guard Battalion Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Dwaine Drummond, believes the biggest issue has been the loss due to retirement or end of enlistment of key battalion members. Some of the now-missing soldiers had decades of different skills in construction and engineering, but these are the exact same skills that makes them in demand in the Civilian world once they are trained in the Army National Guard.
What the unit lacks in experience they make up in youth, enthusiasm and combat skill training. And the new 17-23 year old Women and men will learn and become the trained Engineers of the Maine Unit of tomorrow.