National Guard Announces Time for May 29 Unit Departure Ceremony

More information is now available on the departure ceremony for a Toccoa-based National Guard unit soon heading to Afghanistan.

Last week, AM 630 WNEG reported that the 876th Engineer Company, based in Toccoa, would head to Afghanistan this summer.

Now, the Georgia National Guard has announced that the departure ceremony for the unit will take place at 10 a.m. on May 29 at the Georgia Baptist Conference Center in Toccoa.

876th Engineer Company First Sergeant Danny Williamson said the unit is expected to arrive in Afghanistan in July for a nine-month deployment in that country.

The 876th Engineer Company is a vertical construction unit that includes Guardsmen from Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Florida.

Williamson said that means they build things the Army needs where the Army needs them.

In Afghanistan, Guard officials said the unit will conduct repair and construction operations including plumbing, electrical carpentry, and concrete work for facilities in their assigned areas of operation.

Williamson said the unit will also help train Afghan National Army engineers.

Currently, about 150 Guardsmen are at the Toccoa National Guard Armory training for their deployment.

The Guard said the service members are all receiving 100% of their authorized pay, entitlements, and benefits to take care of the service member and their families.

Also, the Guard said there was a flyer circulating recently expressing concerns as to how Soldiers were being fed.

However, First Sergeant Williamson said that rest assured, all of the unit’s men and women are being taken care of as they prepare for their mission in Afghanistan.

The unit will remain in Toccoa at the armory for a few more days, then head to Fort Stewart for more training for a couple of weeks before returning to Toccoa for a few days prior to the departure ceremony.

For more information on how to help the unit or the soldiers, especially while they are deployed, Williamson says people can contact the unit’s Family Readiness Group is 706-685-7530.