Delaware National Guard troops heading to Afghanistan

By Joe Irizarry 5:17pm, April 6, 2013 - Updated 12:41pm, April 7, 2013
WDEL's Joe Irizarry has the story.
The Delaware National Guard holds a ceremony for the 198th Expeditionary Signal Battalion before members deploys to Afghanistan in less than a week.

WDEL's Joe Irizarry has more.

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The departure ceremony at Delaware State University was attended by Delaware's Congressional delegation as well as about 2,500 others. The 324-member unit also known as the "First Unit of the First State" is expected to be away from home for about a year once they depart Dover Air Force Base Friday.

Major General Frank Vavala, the Adjutant General of the Delaware National Guard, describes the first part of the trip.

"They'll fly to Fort Bliss, Texas which is a mobilization platform. There they will do some theater emergency type of training, preparing them for their deployment into Afghanistan in probably four-to-six weeks after that," explains Vavala.

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Once in Afghanistan, they will maintain signal systems communicating with soldiers in the battlefield.

Specialist Nicole Bryan is from Seaford, and she doesn't know what to expect other than missing her family, especially her nephew.

"It's a little nerve wracking, I've been through all of my training, but you can't really predict the future. I'm not looking forward to leaving this little man behind, or any of my family members but I'm excited to have a new experience," says Bryan.

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