Gov. visits with N.M. National Guard troops ahead of deployment to Africa
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday visited with New Mexico National Guard soldiers at the Fort Bliss Army post in El Paso, Texas, ahead of their deployment to Djibouti to conduct security operations with the Navy, Air Force and other multinational forces.
Almost 400 soldiers of the New Mexico National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 200th Infantry, have been stationed at Fort Bliss in recent weeks, finalizing their training and preparation before they leave for Africa, where they will support Combined Joint Task Force — Horn of Africa in protecting key shipping lanes.
“The sacrifice and integrity of our National Guard soldiers should make every New Mexican proud,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “From the very bottom of my heart, I commend and thank them for their willingness to serve, their capacity for strength and their commitment to doing the work for all of us back home.
“I want to also highlight the sacrifice of our military families, the spouses and children and loved ones who support these brave soldiers in their time away from home. We must always remember what these families have offered up for all of us, and we must always endeavor to recognize their service, as well. This state will step up and support them however we can, whenever we can.
“It’s also important to thank the New Mexico employers and co-workers of our soldiers, who are making their own kind of sacrifice. Service touches so many people, and on behalf of this state, I express my deep gratitude to all of them.”
Lt. Gov. Howie Morales and state National Guard leadership participated in a pair of Yellow Ribbon ceremonies in October – one in Rio Rancho, another in Las Cruces – where officials thanked the departing soldiers, their families and friends and employers for their service and sacrifice and assured them of the state’s support for their needs during and after this deployment.