[email protected] Hastings is home to the Minnesota National Guard 434th Chemical Company, a highly specialized group of folks who handle Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) …
Hastings is home to the Minnesota National Guard 434th Chemical Company, a highly specialized group of folks who handle Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) materials. They are trained to handle all types of weapons threats as well as decontaminate hazardous material spills or accidents within our own (as an example) hospitals where radiation from (X-ray), or medicines or fuels (chemicals), as well as biological or nuclear releases.
The unit has roughly 150 soldiers that range from as young as 18 to as old as 51. 68% of the deploying unit is under the age of 25. These soldiers represent several communities throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma. For about 120 of them, this will be their first deployment, 25 have been on one deployment prior and three soldiers are on their third or more deployment. 70 deploying soldiers have at least one dependent family member, 20 have two, and 14 have three or more. Nearly 33% of those deploying are female.
The unit is made up of intelligent folks as well. 30 are in the process of earning a college degree, eight have an associates degree and 22 have a master’s degree.
Along with being a diverse group of ages, it is a diverse group of races as well. 105 are Caucasian, five are African American, 16 are Asian American, 11 are from Hispanic or Latin decent, and there are one each from Korean descent, Filipino and Native Alaskan.
The 434th Chemical Company will deploy in support of Operation Spartan Shield to Kuwait in order to provide CBRN defense.
“In early June is when we actually fly out to Fort Hood to do all our pre-mobilization training. Then we’ll deploy from Fort Hood, to Kuwait,” explained Captain Andrew Duitsman, commander of the deploying troops. “We’ll have home station activities the first couple of days in June and then on the sixth is when we’ll actually fly out to Fort Hood. See DEPLOYMENT Page 8