AUGUSTA, Maine — Another Maine military unit has joined a growing list of overseas deployments scheduled for early next year.
The 1136th Transportation Company of the Maine Army National Guard will conduct force protection operations in Afghanistan, Maine Gen. John W. Libby announced Saturday.
The 1136th, which has 177 members and stations in Bangor, Calais and Sanford, also served overseas in 2003 in Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The unit will deploy in early 2010, but an exact date was not announced.
Already, the Guard’s 133rd Engineering Battalion — the state’s largest unit with about 500 soldiers — has been scheduled to deploy to Iraq in January 2010 after training in Germany this summer. The battalion completed a tour in Iraq in 2004, during which four soldiers died and 43 were wounded.
B Company of the 3-172nd Mountain Infantry, based in Brewer, is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in January 2010. That unit of about 170 soldiers spent a year in Iraq during 2006 and 2007, providing convoy security and force protection missions.
Finally, 82 members of the Guard’s 286th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion deployed earlier this year for a one-year tour in Afghanistan.
All told, the Maine Army National Guard will deploy 40 percent of its force structure to Iraq and Afghanistan by next year, according to Libby.
Additionally, the 101st Civil Engineering Squadron of the Maine Air National Guard, which has about 100 members, will leave for a six-month tour of Iraq next month.
Since 2003, more than a dozen Maine Guard units have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, and more than 2,200 Maine Army National Guard soldiers have served overseas since the Iraq war began. That number doesn’t include Mainers who are enlisted in main branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Seven soldiers from state Guard units have died in combat since 2003. They are Spc. Christopher Gelineau, Sgt. Lynn Poulin, Spc. Thomas Dostie, Sgt. 1st Class Michael Jones, Staff Sgt. Dale Kelly, Staff Sgt. David Veverka and Sgt. Richard Parker.