MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2006 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Wilemon, Browning, Burton, Butler, Carmichael, Chaney, Gordon, Jackson (11th), Jackson (32nd), Jordan, King, Lee (35th), Little, Morgan, Posey, Thomas, White, Mettetal

Senate Resolution 28

(As Adopted by Senate)

A RESOLUTION REMEMBERING THE GALLANT SERVICE AND COMMENDING THE DEVOTION, COURAGE AND DUTY OF THE IUKA, MISSISSIPPI, NATIONAL GUARD SOLDIERS FROM COMPANY C, 1ST BN 198TH ARMOR OF THE 155TH BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM, FOLLOWING OPERATIONS IN IRAQ.

WHEREAS, Company C, 1ST BN 198th Armor of the 155th Brigade Combat Team, is comprised of members of the Mississippi National Guard from the Iuka, Mississippi, area who have recently returned from combat and humanitarian operations in Iraq; and

WHEREAS, the 155th Brigade Combat Team of the Mississippi Army National Guard was mobilized in September 2004 representing over 3,000 soldiers from 49 communities throughout Mississippi; and

WHEREAS, the 155th Brigade Combat Team, which is attached to the II Marine Expeditionary Force, also had soldiers from other states: Arkansas, Vermont, Utah and the 2nd of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment who trained at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, for four months prior to its deployment to Iraq; the 155th Brigade Combat Team arrived in Iraq in January 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; and

WHEREAS, under the leadership of Brigadier General Augustus Leon Collins, the brigade performed beyond all expectations; and

WHEREAS, while in Iraq, the Iuka Unit of the 155th conducted the following combat, security and humanitarian missions in the area of Karbala, An Najaf, and Al Amiriyah, Iraq:

Turned over security authority in Karbala to new Iraqi Forces;

Trained and partnered with the Iraqi Security Forces;

Set up security in Iraqi's First Primary Elections;

Provided security at water reconstruction projects in Karbala;

Maintained security during the Celebration of Ashura for the Muslims Shite people;

Assisted in conducting humanitarian projects in rebuilding four schools, clinics, hospitals, police stations and crucial infrastructures such as water, sewer, electrical and reconstruction;

Trained and partnered with the Iraqi Security Forces to assist in security during various humanitarian and construction projects;

Operated the Karbala Joint Coordination Center (JCC) which was responsible for the coordination of all Iraqi and U.S. Security Forces in the Karbala Province;

Conducted over 600 combat patrols providing security for the Karbala and Al Anbar Province;

Aided in capture of some 300 possible insurgents and uncovered multiple weapons caches in Anbar Province;

Maintained security in the first elections of ratification of the Iraqi Constitution at An Najaf and Karbala Provinces and maintained security for the First Parliamentary Elections; and

Operated under the Direct Command of the 2nd Marine Division and aided in Operations-Operation Iron Hammer, Iron Fist and River Sweep; and

WHEREAS, due to the 155th BCT's active involvement in local communities, almost $100 Million was committed to these humanitarian and construction projects; and

WHEREAS, during their service supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, many received wounds while conducting combat operations, and 14 Mississippians paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom; and

WHEREAS, the following are the members of Company C, 1st 198th Armor, who served in Iraq: SGT Jeremy Arnold, SGT Stephen Bearden, 1SG Brian Belue, SGT Jason Belue, SGT Douglas Bennett, SPC Russell Boren, SPC Jesse Bowden, SGT Jonathan Brown, SGT Donald Bullard, SGT Christopher Clark, SSG Christopher Dingler, SPC Terry Dunn, CPT Jeffrey Forsythe, SSG Jerry Gray, SFC Roger Gillentine, SPC Christopher Holmes, SGT Perry Holmes, SPC Joshua Hood, SGT Michael Hutcheson, SSG Arnold Jackson, SFC Terry Jaynes, SGT Douglas Kilgore, SGT Glen Marsh, 2LTRobert Mathis, SSG Talmadge McAnally, SPC Joey McNutt, CPT Raymond Ozment, 2LT Kacey Reed, SSG Chris Reno, SGT Fairrah Shumphert, SSG Cecil Tackett, SSG Richard Taylor, and SPC Chad Walters; and

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

WHEREAS, Mississippians understand the costs of conflict, because we have paid them in the past, and it is with great pride and humility that we recognize the heroic action of this great Mississippi fighting unit, which is the guardian of civilization as we know it today:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby remember the gallant service and commend the devotion and courage of the Iuka, Mississippi, National Guard Soldiers of Company C, 1st BN 198th Armor of the 155th Brigade Combat Team (BCT) of the Mississippi National Guard, following their return from operations in Iraq, we extend the thanks of the Senate to these men and women and their families for their duty to our state, our nation and to the free world and we welcome them home.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to their company, First Sergeant Brian Belue, and to Mississippi Adjutant General Harold Cross and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.