Md. Guard Intel team deploys, makes history
By Maj. Kurt M. Rauschenberg, 58th EMIB Public Affairs Officer
Ten soldiers assigned to the 629th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Battalion left today for a nine month deployment to Ft. Gordon, Ga.
The deploying soldiers are making history for the Maryland Army National Guard as they participate in the first deployment from this command since its activation in Oct. 2016 as an expeditionary battalion. The previously deactivated military intelligence battalion cased its colors in Aug. 2006.
In addition to deploying for the first time, this particular mission is the first of its kind within the U.S. Army’s Reserve and National Guard intelligence communities.
“It’s so important we build the capabilities now to withstand the weight of the future,” Maj. Michael A. Bryant, 629th MI Bn. commander, said when he took command in January. “Today’s deployment is the first building block to make this a reality. As these soldiers leave today, they make history.”
The military intelligence soldiers will support the active duty command through performing geospatial intelligence imagery; analyzing overhead and aerial imagery from photographic and electronic capabilities.
This mission supports the U.S. Army’s Vision by incorporating more readily available and rapidly deploying Processing, Exploitation and Dissemination capabilities in the Army’s Operating Concept. The Md. Guard personnel will fall under the 525th PED Battalion, an active U.S. Army unit subordinate to the 525th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade and sister-brigade to the 58th EMIB.
“The Expeditionary Military Intelligence Battalions were established to provide Intel support to active Corps and Divisions,” Bryant said. “With the increase of Regionally Aligned Forces deployed around the world, active duty [units] are no longer able to cover down on all the requirements.”
The Md. Guard team will join 30 other soldiers from the U.S. Army Reserve’s 336th EMIB and Texas National Guard’s 71st EMIB. 1st Lt. Gregory M. Collins, Bravo Company platoon leader, 629th MI Bn., will lead the 40 collective soldiers throughout the deployment.
“It is a huge success story for the State of Maryland,” Bryant said. “The Battalion went from activation in October 2016 to deploying its first soldiers in just 16 months.”
Col. Julie M. Minde, 58th EMIB commander, was in attendance today and spoke with the deploying soldiers to express her gratitude for their service and sacrifice.
“These soldiers are motivated experts in their field and will make us all proud as they support this critical mission,” Minde said. “I could not be more proud of them.”