Iowa Legislature told Iowa National Guard is always ready
By Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer | Jan 18, 2021
As members of the Iowa National Guard’s Alpha Battery – 194th Field Artillery continue their CENTCOM mission in the Middle East and North Africa, their commander addressed the Iowa legislature in Des Moines for the annual Condition of the National Guard Address by Major General Ben Corell. The local unit is known now as Echo 1-194 Field Artillery for their mobilization that began Aug. 3, 2020 and is expected to last about a year. “The National Guard de-pends on partnerships: all hands on deck, everyone working together,” General Corell said. Between Operation Feeding Iowa, a mission to transport food to rural Iowans struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, to delivering lab samples to the State Hygienic Lab in Ankeny, the National Guard took the equiva
lent of 17 trips around the earth, General Corell said. The 2020 deployment represents the largest over-seas deployment of Iowa National Guard members in 10 years. Troops deployed just before the Derecho storm that hit a large swath of Iowa. General Corell said the Iowa National Guard was pre-=pared to jump in and help with rescue and repair in that disaster as well. General Corell said the Iowa National Guard is looking to the future to more intentionally have equity and inclusion in its ranks, with a vision to become the most trusted organization in Iowa, ready for any task or mission. The Guard has re-cently promoted two female officers to the rank of colonel. The National Guard is cur-=rently working with long-time international partner, the Kosovo guard, to make them not only a consumer, but a provider of security services. Kosovo will be prepared to provide logistics and maintenance on its own deployments to the Middle East. The Iowa National Guard is also working on a new multi-use facility in the Des Moines area, and to increase the level of care for mem-bers and their families. “I’m extremely proud of the commitment of all our members to help the people of Iowa in times of need and to serve throughout the world,” General Corell said.