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South Carolina National Guard maintenance unit deploys to support Operation Atlantic Resolve

By Lt. Col. Cindi King February 27, 2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The South Carolina Army National Guard's 742nd Support Maintenance Company, headquartered at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, departed to support Operation Atlantic Resolve from Eagle Aviation in Columbia, South Carolina, Feb. 26, 2017.

The 140 Soldiers are scheduled to stop in Texas for about one month for training prior to departing for Eastern Europe to support the 16th Sustainment Brigade. The unit will provide maintenance and repair capabilities for military vehicles, electronics and small arms weapons while mobilized for approximately one year.

"Thanks to the families of our Soldiers for being supportive and for being understanding, but most importantly for being strong," said U.S. Army Capt. Taurus Gardin, commander of the 742nd Support Maintenance Company. "To the 742nd, we are trained, we are motivated, and we are ready."

The mood of the hundreds of supporters shifted from jovial, with smiles and laughs, to quiet sadness, when the announcement was made it was time for the Soldiers to depart. Hugs, kisses, and words of reassurance filled the hangar as the Soldiers said goodbyes to loved ones before picking up their bags to join their unit on the tarmac.

The Patriot Guard volunteers gave a final tribute to the troops of the 742nd, by creating a patriotic pathway to the aircraft with a line-up of American flags. Leadership from the South Carolina National Guard, including U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston, Jr., the adjutant general for South Carolina, gave a final handshake and offered well wishes to each Soldier and they boarded the plane.

"The 742nd has a very important role joining other units as they safeguard our allies from threats to Eastern Europe. I am so proud of these men and women who have trained hard and are ready to do their mission," said Livingston. "Barbara and I will keep them and their loved ones in our prayers for a successful mission and safe return home."

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