MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2006 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representative McCoy, Compretta, Rogers (61st), Markham, Barnett, Broomfield, Ishee, Bounds, Harrison, Hines, Lott, Mayhall, Akins, Aldridge, Arinder, Bailey, Baker (74th), Baker (8th), Banks, Beckett, Bentz, Blackmon, Bondurant, Brown, Buck, Burnett, Calhoun, Carlton, Chism, Clark, Clarke, Cockerham, Coleman (29th), Coleman (65th), Cummings, Davis, Dedeaux, Denny, Dickson, Eaton, Ellington, Ellis, Espy, Evans, Fillingane, Flaggs, Fleming, Formby, Franks, Fredericks, Frierson, Gadd, Gibbs, Gregory, Guice, Gunn, Hamilton (109th), Hamilton (6th), Holland, Holloway, Horne, Howell, Huddleston, Hudson, Janus, Jennings, Johnson, Lane, Malone, Martinson, Masterson, Mayo, McBride, Middleton, Miles, Mims, Moak, Montgomery, Moore, Morris, Moss, Myers, Nicholson, Norquist, Parker, Patterson, Peranich, Perkins, Read, Reed, Reeves, Reynolds, Robinson (63rd), Robinson (84th), Rogers (14th), Rotenberry, Scott, Shows, Simpson, Smith (27th), Smith (39th), Smith (59th), Snowden, Staples, Stevens, Straughter, Stringer, Sullivan, Thomas, Turner, Upshaw, Vince, Walley, Ward, Warren, Watson, Weathersby, Wells-Smith, Whittington, Woods, Young, Zuber

House Concurrent Resolution 56

(As Adopted by House and Senate)

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING AND COMMENDING THE SERVICE, BRAVERY AND DEDICATION OF THE SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE 155TH BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM OF THE MISSISSIPPI ARMY NATIONAL GUARD FOR THEIR SERVICE TO THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI AND THE UNITED STATES AND WELCOMING THEM HOME AFTER A SUCCESSFUL TOUR OF DUTY.

†††† WHEREAS, the Mississippi Legislature wishes to acknowledge the many sacrifices made by the service men and women of the 155th Brigade Combat Team of the Mississippi Army National Guard for their meritorious service in the war against terrorism that is being waged by the United States both at home and overseas; and

†††† WHEREAS, Mississippi's citizens have always been more than willing to serve their country during times of conflict across the world, as demonstrated by these valiant soldiers, and many have given the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in times of war; and

†††† WHEREAS, mobilized in September 2004, and representing more than 3,000 soldiers from 49 communities throughout the state, as well as soldiers from Arkansas, Vermont, Utah and the 2nd of the 11th Armored Calvary Regiment trained at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, these "citizen soldiers" embarked upon both missions to secure and preserve peace and to protect the lives and interests of all Americans, thus exhibiting the high caliber and readiness of our stateís troops; and

†††† WHEREAS, under the leadership of Brigadier General Augustus Leon Collins, the 155th arrived in Iraq in January 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where they served with the 1st and 2nd Marine Expeditionary Forces and performed beyond all expectations; and

†††† WHEREAS, while on duty, the brigade conducted more than 500 brigade level operations, task force level operations, raids, platoon and company joint cordon and searches and combat missions; and

†††† WHEREAS, to highlight the proficient and efficient skills of our native sons and daughters while in Iraqi combat, the brigade conducted over 400 explosive ordinance disposal missions, located and destroyed over 6,000 small arms, 24 machine guns, 217 rocket propelled grenades, 295 mortar tubes, 10,000 mortar rounds, 25,000 artillery rounds, 84,000 pounds of propellant, 71,000 rounds of ammunition, 55 land mines, 360 grenades, 109 launchers, 40 surface-to-air missiles and nearly 5,000 miscellaneous weapons; and

†††† WHEREAS, unselfishly exhibiting courage under fire at every moment, the members of the 155th conducted combat operations resulting in the detainment of over 1,500 suspected insurgents with almost half being imprisoned at Abu Gharib Prison; and

†††† WHEREAS, the brigade team participated in and facilitated three national level free elections in Iraq to help ensure the democratic process with an 83% voter turnout in the brigade's area of operations; and

†††† WHEREAS, having conducted numerous humanitarian projects rebuilding schools, clinics, hospitals, police stations and critical infrastructure such as water, sewer, electrical and reconstruction, the 155th's active involvement in local communities was a catalyst allowing these projects to receive more than $100 million; and

†††† WHEREAS, training and partnering with Iraqi Security Forces to assist in security during the humanitarian projects, the 155th relinquished its authority in Najaf, Karbala, North Babil and Al Anbar, Iraq, to the soldiers of the United States Army's 4th Infantry Division on January 1, 2006, signaling an official end to a year in combat; and

†††† WHEREAS, during their service of supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, many were wounded in battle while conducting their various operations, and 14 fellow brethren of the Mississippi based brigade team paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms; and

WHEREAS, with the return of the 155th, the Mississippi National Guard now has the most combat veterans since World War II; and

†††† WHEREAS, since September 11, 2001, a countless number of† 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 many men and women of the 155th Brigade Combat Team of the Mississippi Army National Guard in providing valuable assistance to the United States military has helped instill confidence in the general public that they have been, are and forever will be committed to this nationís security; and

†††† WHEREAS, Governor Haley Barbour, Commander in Chief, along with Adjutant General Major General Harold Cross, whose leadership and dedication is known throughout the military of the United States, continues to guide and command units of the Mississippi National Guard in mobilizations and deployments, and through state emergencies including hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes and security at critical sites in the State of Mississippi; and

†††† WHEREAS, the Mississippi Legislature finds it most appropriate to recognize and commend the diligence of these outstanding Mississippi men and women for the devotion, courage and their duty to their state, nation and free world to secure and insure peace and to preserve and protect freedom 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 the 155th Brigade Combat Team of the Mississippi Army National Guard personnel for their service to the State of Mississippi and the United States, welcome them home upon the completion of a successful tour of duty in Iraq and extend our heartiest wishes for continued success in all their future endeavors.

†††† BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the commanding officers of the 155th Brigade Combat Team, the Adjutant General of the Mississippi National Guard and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.