2006 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Little, White, Brown, Browning, Bryan, Burton, Butler, Carmichael, Chaney, Clarke, Davis, Dawkins, Dearing, Doxey, Flowers, Frazier, Gordon, Harden, Hyde-Smith, Jackson (11th), Jackson (15th), Jackson (32nd), Jordan, King, Kirby, Lee (35th), Mettetal, Michel, Moffatt, Morgan, Pickering, Posey, Robertson, Thames, Thomas, Tollison, Wilemon, Williamson
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION REMEMBERING THE GALLANT SERVICE AND COMMENDING THE DEVOTION, COURAGE AND DUTY OF THE 155TH BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM OF THE MISSISSIPPI NATIONAL GUARD FOLLOWING OPERATIONS IN IRAQ.
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; and
WHEREAS, the 155th BCT arrived in Iraq in January 2005 in support of operation Iraqi freedom and served with the 1st and 2nd Marine expeditionary forces; and
WHEREAS, under the leadership of Brigadier General Augustus Leon Collins, the brigade performed beyond all expectations; and
WHEREAS, while in Iraq, the brigade conducted brigade level operations, task force level operations, raids, platoon and company joint cordon and searches, and combat missions totaling over 500; and
WHEREAS, the brigade conducted over 400 explosive ordinance disposal missions while in Iraq; and
WHEREAS, the brigade 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; 260 grenades; 109 launchers; 40 surface-to-air missiles and nearly 5,000 miscellaneous weapons; and
WHEREAS, the 155th BCT conducted combat operations resulting in the detainment of over 1,500 suspected insurgents with almost half of these sent to Abu Gharib Prison; and
WHEREAS, the 155th BCT participated 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, the 155th BCT conducted numerous humanitarian projects in rebuilding schools, clinics, hospitals, police stations and critical infrastructure such as water, sewer, electrical and reconstruction; 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, the soldiers of the 155th BCT trained and partnered with Iraqi security forces to assist in security during these humanitarian projects; and
WHEREAS, the 155th BCT turned over its authority in Najaf, Karbala, North Babil and Al Anbar, Iraq, to the soldiers of the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division on January 1, 2006, signaling an official end to a year of combat for the Mississippi soldiers; 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 14 Mississippi soldiers of the 155th Brigade Combat Team who were killed in action in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom:
RANK/NAME AGE SOLDIER'S HOMETOWN DATE OF DEATH
MSG Sean M. Cooley 35 Ocean Springs, MS 4-Feb-05
SGT Robert A. McNail 30 Meridian, MS 11-Feb-05
SGT Joseph A. "Drew"
Rahaim 22 Laurel, MS 16-Feb-05
SGT Timothy R. Osbey 29 Magnolia, MS 16-Feb-05
SGT Robert S. Pugh 25 Meridian, MS 2-Mar-05
SSG Tommy S. Little 47 Aliceville, AL 2-May-05
SGT Audrey D. Lunsford 29 Sardis, MS 23-May-05
SFC Saburant Parker 42 Foxworth, MS 23-May-05
SGT Daniel R. Varnado 23 Saucier, MS 23-May-05
SPC Bryan D. Barron 26 Biloxi, MS 23-May-05
SSG Larry R. Arnold, Sr. 46Carierre, MS 11-Jun-05
SGT Terrance D. Lee, Sr. 25Moss Point, MS 11-Jun-05
SSG Travis S. Cooper 24Macon, MS 16-Jul-05
1Lt Robert C.
Oneto-Sikorski 33 Bay St. Louis, MS 31-Oct-05; 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, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby remember the gallant service and commend the devotion and courage 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 Legislature 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 the Commanding Officer of the 155th and to Mississippi Adjutant General Harold Cross and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.