AZ Guard's 159th Finance Detachment Deploys to Afghanistan

AZ Guard's 159th Finance Detachment Deploys to Afghanistan

Arizona Army National Guard Soldiers from the 159th Finance Detachment are recognized during a deployment send-off ceremony Oct. 15, at Petty Crew Armory located at the Papago Park Military Reservation in Phoenix. The unit will deploy to Afghanistan for approximately nine months in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel. (Arizona Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brian A. Barbour)

PHOENIX - More than two dozen Soldiers with the Arizona Army National Guard’s 159th Finance Detachment were recognized during a deployment send-off ceremony Oct. 15, at Petty Crew Armory located at Papago Park Military Reservation in Phoenix.

The 159th FI DET is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan for approximately nine months in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel.

“We’re very excited today to come out and officially send this unit to continue to support this great nation and the Soldiers, sailors and Marines deployed forward,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael T. McGuire, the Adjutant General of the Arizona National Guard.

The 159th FI DET’s mission is to serve as contracting and commercial vendor services support, disbursing and funding support, non-U.S. pay support, and U.S. pay support to brigade, division, corps, or theater units.

“Supporting the financial operations of over 10,000 Soldiers deployed forward in Afghanistan today will be the responsibility of these Soldiers,” McGuire said. “It’s a burden I know they can bear.”

The Arizona Guard unit has spent the last year preparing for this overseas deployment.

“Their commitment to this mission is right on point,” said 1st Lt. Janet Baca, company commander of the 159th FI DET. “They have trained hard and are ready. I feel confident that we’re going to go successfully help Soldiers down range and make it back safely.”

The Soldiers assigned to the unit will be part of the few remaining Arizona National Guard members serving on federal active duty overseas.

Spc. Vanessa Roller, a financial management technician with the 159th FI DET, said she joined the National Guard for the opportunity to experience a deployment like this one.

“I want to be able to help Soldiers down range with any finance problems they might have,” Roller said.

This will be the second deployment for the 159th FI DET in the last 10 years in support of overseas contingency operations.

“I want to tell all of you to work as a team and take great pride in your training,” McGuire said. “Count on the leadership of your group. There will be doubts, there will be moments where you’re not always sure this is the way to go. If you maintain faith and hope in one and other, you are an army that cannot be defeated.”