CAMP DOUGLAS, Wis. — Family, friends and service members gathered at Volk Field, Wisconsin Wednesday to say their goodbyes to five soldiers with the 1967th Army National Guard Contingency Contracting Team. The Soldiers are deploying to U.S. Africa Command in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel-Horn of Africa.
Army contract teams acquire technology, supplies and services for troops and support humanitarian missions in war zones worldwide.
“A contracting team purchases supplies and equipment necessary for a unit to complete its mission, whether it’s stateside or in theater,” said Capt. Gary Brown, commander of the 1967th Contract Team. “We’re providing supplies and support to the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. Fourteen countries make up that task force and we’ll support Army, Airmen and Naval forces.”
The small team comes with a wealth of knowledge and about 30 years of combined total experience. In order to qualify for this job, Soldiers must have earned a bachelor’s degree, have 24 college business credits and be selected to reclassify to this career field.
The unit is still relatively new to the Wisconsin Army National Guard, having been officially constituted in 2006. Last summer, the 1967th Contract Team and the Ohio Army National Guard’s 1937th Contract Team conducted annual training together to prepare for this deployment. While members of the unit have supported other deployments as well as recent state active duty missions, this is the first time the unit has officially deployed.
“I think the biggest thing we’re looking forward is doing the contracting mission abroad,” Brown said. “All of our experience so far is stateside so getting out there and doing this outside of the country is exciting.”