Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

October 12, 2012

KY National Guard 623rd Field Artillery unit trains for upcoming deployment to Jordan

Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — For the Kentucky National Guard 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery, deployment training is no quick feat. As the battalion counts down to its deployment to Jordan in February 2013, the weeks are filled with drills and training trips. In September, members of the battalion’s leadership staff spent 10 days in Jordan and Kuwait, learning about the upcoming deployment and the environment in which the soldiers will spend nine to 10 months.

The majority of the deployed 623rd will be training Jordanian military during their deployment, according to Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Timothy Fanter, who went on the 10-day trip last month. Jordan’s military lacks a strong non-commissioned officer core, Fanter said, and the country wants to expand its military practices. Some of the unit will be in Kuwait. The 623rd should be able to complete its mission and still be home in time for the holidays next year.

“For our families, it’s good timing for the mission,” Fanter said. “[The soldiers] get to have Thanksgiving and Christmas with their families, and in 2013 we’ll be back by then.”

Fanter wouldn’t categorize the upcoming deployment as a dangerous mission, he said. Instability in the region, especially in neighboring Syria, is something to be aware of, but Jordan is a pro-Western country.

“When we were over there, everybody was very outgoing to us, very friendly,” Fanter said.

The 10 days they spent in Jordan in September involved a lot of coordination with the unit that is currently stationed there, Fanter said. The current unit is National Guard as well, and only the second unit to be deployed on this type of training mission to Jordan.

“Jordan is a very new initiative,” Fanter said. “It’s trying to get the partnership started, kinda breaking new ground in that region.”

For the full story, see the print or e-edition of the Glasgow Daily Times Weekender.