National Guard members depart for Iraq duties


TAYLOR — Fourteen members of the Michigan National Guard from the 777th Military Police Detachment departed Monday from the Taylor Armory for four months of training at Fort Bliss, Texas, and then a one-year tour of duty in Iraq, where they will oversee detainee operations.

A farewell ceremony took place at the armory, 12450 Beech Daly Road.

The 777th MP Detachment was activated in October 2007, making it the first organization of its kind in the Michigan Army National Guard. The specialty unit is one of only 10 in the entire Army Force Structure, which includes active duty, the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard.

The mission of the 777th is to function as a U.S. central agency in each theater of war for the receipt, processing, maintenance, dissemination and transmittal of required information and data relating to enemy prisoner of war/civilian internee, American prisoners of war and dislocated civilians within their assigned theater.

Once the unit reaches its destination, it will relieve a reserve unit from Terra Haute, Ind. Unit members will take over the responsibilities of managing the records and personal belongings of all detainees in theater interment facilities throughout Iraq. Additional tasks will involve assisting in the transition of authority and responsibility of detention facilities to the Iraqi government.

Members of the detachment include Lt. Col. Edward Ziegenmeyer, Sgt. 1st Class Ken Schneider, Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Reimer, Staff Sgt. Christopher Heath, Staff Sgt. Jared Baron, Sgt. Matthew Luttenberger, Sgt. Mark Schreiber, Spc. Christa Dudley, Spc. Rebecca East, Spc. Daniel Hopkins, Spc. Kenneth Ochenski, Spc. Jessica Rock, Spc. Joshua Sayles and Spc. Justin Winter.

Brig. Gen. Michael R. Nevin praised the support of the local National Guard unit by the Taylor community.