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Sendoff set for Chippewa Falls-based Wisconsin National Guard engineer company

Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin adjutant general, and other senior Wisconsin National Guard leaders will join family and friends of the 829th Engineer Company for a10:30 a.m. sendoff ceremony Friday at Fort McCoy.

The 829th Engineer Company is a vertical engineering company located in Chippewa Falls with detachments in Richland Center and Ashland. While normally the unit's mission is building construction, during its deployment to Afghanistan's Regional Command East the approximately 160 members of the 829th will be deconstructing U.S. forward military bases as part of efforts to reduce U.S. troop presence there.

The 829th's objective in deconstructing U.S. forward operating bases is to prevent the enemy from reclaiming those materials. The 829th will also recover, organize and redistribute military materials to save taxpayer money. The unit is expected to return in the spring of 2015.

The 829th Engineer Company has been training at Fort McCoy most of March, and will continue deployment-specific training at Fort Bliss, Texas, before arriving in Afghanistan. This will be the unit's third deployment — it deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and again in 2009 — but its first in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. This will be the first deployment for about half of the company.