Cadiz, KY

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Army welcomes more soldiers from National Guard to fill gaps

Wednesday, March 01, 2017 - Updated: 2:08 AM
By Meredith Willse Kentucky New Era

Forty men and women of the Kentucky National Guard are able to say they are Screaming Eagles after a patching ceremony Saturday on Fort Campbell.

This is now a unique opportunity for those who were patched, Brigadier Gen. Benjamin F. Adams III said.

Maj. Gen. Andrew J. Poppas said the troops train together, certify together and deploy together. They are one Army. The ceremony was about finding synergy in order to become one force.

In order to do this, National Guard members and members from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) will train together. This will bring the National Guard up to the 101st's level.

But Poppas also said Guard soldiers had some training his troopers could benefit from.

When the division deploys, it does not do so as a whole. Poppas still has formations on post training. The National Guard steps in to cover those gaps.

"I'm dependent on this inner-operability," he said, adding that's why they have to get everyone on level, so they can be one tight formation.

It also helps the division after it received cuts. It became a symbiotic relationship. With these Guard units partnered with, Poppas said they are fully dependent on those units to be fully integrated.

"This is a reflection of the future of the fight," he said.

This not only fulfills the division's needs, but it also expands and builds capability of the Guard, according to Adams.

It also helps expand the Guard. Everyone wants to be involved and do their part, Adams said. For those who can join, they like the idea of being tied to the 101st.

Over the next few years, each Guard soldier will be trained and certified before their deployment and then get incorporated into the group.In whole, there were 91 members of the Kentucky National Guard that have joined with this partnership.

There are also five others from other states' Guard units who have joined.n Saturday's group was one of 13 detachments across the country.

Adams told the soldiers during the ceremony that this is a unique partnership they should be proud to be a part of.

"This is not about individual units. This is about team," he said.

"The bottom line, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter about the patch you wear on your shoulder. The patch that matters is the one on your chest says "U.S. Army" and we're all a part of that team," he said.

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