Vermont National Guard soldiers prepare for probable 2021 deployment

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It’s not an absolute certainty, but according to the Vermont Army National Guard, its soldiers will probably be deployed within the next two years.

Capt. Mike Arcovitch tells us this is why the members of the guard put on the uniform.

“You know, this is what we train for, and I certainly know that we’re ready to go,” he said. “There’s a lot of confidence among the leadership and among the ranks, and this comes as a welcome notifcation for a lot of people.”

The Pentagon has just given the guard a notification of sourcing for about 2,500 soldiers from the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

“The Department of the Army turns on resources for a most likely deployment, for this case in 2021,” Capt. Arcovitch said.

It’s unclear exactly how many Vermont soldiers this will affect. The brigade encompasses soldiers from six different states. Forty percent of them are within the Green Mountain State, or roughly a thousand soldiers.

“The affairs detachment and the law enforcement detachment, which have also gotten notifications of sourcing, are also in Vermont, so the exact number is tough to guesstimate,” Arcovitch said. “We still have to do all the manning, and who’s going where, and what’s the mission sets.”

Soldiers from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut and Colorado are also part of the brigade. It would deploy to a variety of locations in support of U.S. Central Command, Europe Command and Africa Command.

Arcovitch says the Guard doesn’t know the exact locations yet, or the number of personnel per location.

“Over the course of the next year, we’re going to train as if we are deploying in 2021,” he said. “Our training year will hopefully be a typical drill schedule, which would be the two days per month and two weeks per year. In the last few years, it hasn’t been that way. We’ve had more operational tempo; we’ve had longer drill weekends.”

Capt. Arcovitch says the Guard will be as open with the public as possible as it continues to learn more details.

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