Guam – Guam Governor Eddie Baza Calvo spent time on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, with the Guam Army National Guard’s Soldiers currently training at the National Training Center in Ft. Irwin, Califonia.
The governor met with the 13 Soldiers who were assigned as a Security Force Assistance/Advisory Team, over the two day period. The GUARNG SFAT, also known as Team I’fit, is one of 16 teams that will deploy under the 29th Brigade Combat Team from the Hawaii Army National Guard.
The 29th BCT will be deploying to Afghanistan in a few weeks, and is tasked with enabling the Afghan National Security Forces to improve operational capabilities.
The Governor returns to Guam on Friday.
A release from the Governor’s office is below:
[Gov. Eddie Calvo administers the oath during the promotion of LTC Franklin Babauta. LTC Babauta is part of a 12-man Security Force Assistance/Advisory Team from GUARNG mobilized to deploy as part of the 29th Brigade Combat Team of the HIARNG to Afghanistan. The 29th BCT is completing mobilization training at the NTC before their deployment to AFghanistan next month.]
Governor Commends Guardsmen on Impressive Exercise Ahead of Deployment, Promotes Guam Son to Lt. Colonel
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2012
(Fort Irwin, CA) — Governor Eddie Baza Calvo witnessed first-hand how Guamanian soldiers impress top officials in the military today. At the invitation of Adjutant General Benny Paulino, the Governor visited Guam soldiers preparing to be deployed to Afghanistan. The soldiers, who are part of the 29th Infantry Brigade and known as “Team I’fit,” are training in Fort Irwin, California, home to the the National Training Center.
“These men are sacrificing their safety and putting their lives on hold to defend our freedoms. In my experience, I know how much it means to these soldiers to see the support of their leaders. Not many governors make the time to thank servicemembers while they are away from home—when they need it most. I’m proud that Governor Calvo recognizes how important this visit is,” General Paulino said.
Fort Irwin has been a main training facility for the military since the 1930s. This base has a wide array of equipment, personnel, and facilities to simulate almost any situation our military may encounter. It also has opportunities to train with robotics and telecommunications that aren’t found elsewhere in the nation. During a meeting, the fort’s commander, Brigadier General Terry Ferrell, let Governor Calvo know the exercise our Guamanian soldiers participated in was the most complex the fort has ever had in its history. More impressive still, Guam’s sons performed above and beyond expectations. Their counterparts from other states also looked to our soldiers as examples and leaders during the exercise.
“Guam’s military members are among the best and brightest in the nation. That’s not just my opinion, but it’s also the opinion of every commanding officer who meets these brave men and women,” Governor Calvo said. “It is with the deepest gratitude and greatest pride that I thank these men and women for the service they do. I thank Brigadier General Ferrell for his kind words for our men, and especially thank the soldiers in ‘Team I’fit‘ for proving how patriotic and capable Guamanians are.”
The brigade is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan next month.
Governor Calvo also promoted Franklin Babauta, a Guam soldier from the brigade, to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
“Frank is a good man, dedicated to his family, island, and country. He is deserving of this rank, and all of the prestige it comes with,” Governor Calvo said.