Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers To Join Fight Against Islamic State Group

65 Soldiers Will Serve Alongside Active Duty, Reservists In Iraq, Kuwait

Wisconsin National Guard sign
Kendra (CC-BY-NC)

Sixty-five Wisconsin National Guard soldiers will be leaving soon for the Middle East to help combat the Islamic State group as part of a U.S. Army program being tested for the first time.

The soldiers will be integrated into an active duty Army unit, an assignment which is the first of its kind in the military branch.

Wisconsin National Guard Capt. Joe Trovato said the Guard and Reserves have long served alongside active duty members, but never as part of the same unit.

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“As we go into the future, we’re going to be more and more reliant on sharing across services. We’re all a part of one team, one fight. In our mind, the National Guard is just a complement to our active duty and Reserve brethren,” he said.

Trovato said the soldiers have a variety of backgrounds and specialties.

“They represent the best of what this country has to offer and what our state has to offer. They’re selflessly serving our country in a time of need. We couldn’t be more proud of them,” he said.

The National Guards members will be supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, which works to defeat the Islamic State group through targeted airstrikes. They will serve with about 500 soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division and be deployed to Iraq and Kuwait anywhere from nine months to one year.

A sendoff ceremony will be held Monday morning in Madison.