Nebraska Gov Pete Ricketts went out of state this week – way out of state – as he flew to the Middle East to visit with members of the Nebraska National Guard.
Ricketts traveled to the nation of Qatar and to Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, where spoke as a ceremony marking the transfer of command from one detachment of the 1057th Military Police Company to another.
The 1057th has detachments in Chadron, Kearney, and Scottsbluff. The Scottsbluff detachment deployed to Kuwait last October and is now being replaced by the one from Kearney.
The Chadron detachment left last month for stateside training before beginning a year-long overseas deployment of its own.
The Nebraska National Guard currently has about 120 soldiers and airmen in Kuwait with another 300 in Qatar or along the United States-Mexican border in the southwest
Ricketts told the transfer of command ceremony that ““We pray for the safety and success of the second team as they carry on the great work of the Nebraska National Guard in the Middle East.”
Prior to 9-11, the National Guard had not deployed outside the country for anything other than training exercises or humanitarian relief efforts, but Ricketts said Guard members now expect to be deployed for service elsewhere.
Joining the governor on his trip was Major General Daryl Bohac, adjutant general of the Nebraska National Guard.