By. M Queiser, firstname.lastname@example.org
FARMINGTON, Mo. - Spc. Caleb Wiltse, of O'Fallon, is one of nearly 93 Missouri National Guard Soldiers deploying to Afghanistan with the 1138th Engineer Company, of Farmington.
The unit - which draws Soldiers from the 1149th Engineer Battalion in Cape Girardeau - is part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and will be conducting route clearance missions.
Soldiers spent 29 days of training at Camp Clark and Camp Crowder for pre-mobilization training that allowed them to learn necessary skills for deployment. Training conducted there included weapons qualifications, route clearance operations and tactics, battle drills and warrior tasks.
Currently, Soldiers are finalizing appropriate training for deployment at Fort Bliss, Texas, including squad and platoon battle drills and tasks while being in vehicles and environments similar to that in which they will encounter while deployed. After mobilization training, the Soldiers will deploy to Afghanistan in mid-August.
Wiltse has been with the Missouri Army National Guard for four years and is a combat engineer. He deployed in 2011 in support of Operation Show Me Rising Tide in southeast Missouri.
This is his first overseas deployment, said Wiltse.
"I'm ready to go over, do my job and make sure we all come home safe," said Wiltse.
While deployed, the company will fall under the command and control of the 120th Engineer Battalion, Oklahoma National Guard. The Soldiers are schedule to return in the spring of 2013.
Wiltse is a graduate of Southwestern College in Winfield, Kan., and Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. Wiltse is supported in his military career by his parents Mark and Cindy Wiltse, of O'Fallon; his grandparents Jim and Alice Sumner, of Derby, Kan.; and his grandparents Walter and Charlotte Wiltse, of O'Fallon.
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