High Country Association of REALTORS News

NEIGHBORS: A top notch National Guard unit

1451st Transportation CompanyThe High Country is home to the 1451st Transportation Company of the North Carolina National Guard. Headquartered in Boone, the unit has done tours in Iraq during both the 1990s Desert Storm and 2000s Operation Iraqi Freedom. It's also done various domestic relief missions, such as during post-Katrina aid in the Gulf Coast.

It's a professional, experienced unit. And earlier this month, it was honored with the 2011 National Guard Logistics Unit of Excellence Award, issued by the National Defense Transportation Association. The award is given for outstanding proficiency in logistics and transportation operations from among the association's 8,500 individual and industry members.

It was just over three years ago the 1451st returned from Iraq, where it was deployed for more than a year.

1stSgt Jonhehan Doss, a 17-year soldier in both the regular Army and the National Guard and veteran of operations in Bosnia [’97-‘98] and Iraq [’04-‘05], stated emphatically that the unit’s tour of duty was “very successful in that it was a mission we don’t normally train for.” Normal missions for the transportation unit are the logistical transportation of personnel and equipment for resupply of forward units. However, during their tour of duty, 1451st soldiers spent more than 60 days learning new tactics, procedures and responsibilities to operate as a mobile security force. ...
During their time in country, the 1451st conducted move than 400 missions, logging over one million miles across the country. Soldiers from the unit received 158 decorations for service, including 24 Bronze Stars.

Two ready reserve soldiers were killed in action while attached to the unit: Sergeant Joshua Schmit, 26, of Willmar, Minn. and Sergeant Brandon Wallace, 27, of St. Louis, Mo. were killed in Fallujah from an improvised explosive device attack on March 14.

While the soldiers were in Iraq, the High Country did its best to play a supporting role. A huge crowd greeted them when they finally returned home.