MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2004 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representative Formby, Carlton, Compretta, Davis, Dedeaux, Fillingane, Frierson, Howell, Lott, Parker, Peranich, Simpson, Upshaw, Wells-Smith, Mayo, Pierce

House Concurrent Resolution 130

(As Adopted by House and Senate)

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING AND COMMENDING THE 890TH ENGINEER BATTALION SERVING THE UNITED STATES IN OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM.

†††† WHEREAS, the Armed Forces of the United States is in the process of engaging in the war against terrorism both at home and overseas, which includes hundreds of Mississippi National Guardsmen; and

†††† WHEREAS, the Mississippi National Guard, upon receiving only a few daysí notice in most cases, has embarked upon both missions to secure and preserve peace and to protect the lives and interest of all Americans, thus exhibiting the high caliber and readiness of our stateís troops; and

†††† WHEREAS, 528 members of the 890th Engineer Battalion, headquartered in Gulfport, Mississippi, with units in Picayune, Pascagoula, Columbia, Lumberton, Purvis and Wiggins, were called to active duty on February 7, 2003, for service in Operation Iraqi Freedom; and

†††† WHEREAS, upon mobilization, these soldiers trained admirably at Ft. Stewart, Georgia, proving they were more than capable of performing the duties required of them; and

†††† WHEREAS, these soldiers were subsequently deployed to the vicinity of Fallujah, Iraq, a very contentious area within the Sunni Triangle region of the country; and

†††† WHEREAS, the battalion was selected to support the famed 82nd Airborne Division of Ft. Bragg, North Carolina; and

†††† WHEREAS, one of the battalionís first missions in the country was to repair Ridgeway Airfield near Fallujah and to set up the division rear for the 82nd; and

†††† WHEREAS, the 890th conducted several recons and bridge repairs in the Rifles West region of the Sunni Triangle, as well as repairing more than 41 kilometers of road; and

†††† WHEREAS, the battalion also conducted several civil-military campaigns, including renovations of hospitals and schools, as well as improving and restoring electrical, water and sewage facilities; and

†††† WHEREAS, in addition to restoration and construction of numerous schools, medical facilities and utilities, the 890th also adopted an Iraqi school in Abinahya, an all-boys' school of first through fifth graders of approximately 80 students, and with assistance from the Red Cross, collected 14 boxes (500 pounds) of supplies for the school; and

†††† WHEREAS, the battalion constructed the first satellite communications tower in Iraq for Joint Task Force Ė 7 in Baghdad and have been recognized repeatedly for excellence during their deployment; and

†††† WHEREAS, since September 11, 2001, more than 5,000 soldiers and airmen of the Mississippi National Guard have been called to active service in defense of our nationís freedom, constituting the largest overseas deployment of the Mississippi National Guard since the Korean War; and

†††† WHEREAS, the dedication of the men of the 890th Engineer Battalion, in providing valuable assistance to the United States Armed Forces, has helped instill confidence in the general public that they are committed to this nationís security; and

†††† WHEREAS, the leadership and dedication of Lieutenant Colonel Johnny M. Sellers and his staff serve as an example to all military throughout the United States as they have guided and commanded the units of the 890th Engineer Battalion in military mobilizations and state active duties to include hurricanes, tropical storms, tornados, security at seven airports

†in the State of Mississippi and in Central America; and

†††† WHEREAS, the Mississippi Legislature finds it most appropriate to recognize and commend the diligence of these outstanding Mississippians for the devotion to their state and nation to secure and insure peace for all:

†††† NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend all personnel of the 890th Engineer Battalion serving the United States so bravely in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

†††† BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution are furnished to the commanding officers of the 890th Engineer Battalion, the Adjutant General of the Mississippi National Guard and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.