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Guard head visits local troops in Honduras

Friday, June 22, 2012

Maj. Gen. Stephen Danner, the adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard, addresses soldiers at a town-hall meeting held at the forward operating base. Danner and his staff toured all the new construction sites, built in part by soldiers from the Monett and Pierce City National Guard units, that feature two schools and two medical facilities being built, all in support of the Beyond the Horizons 2012 mission in Honduras.
Guard head visits local troops in Honduras

NACO, Honduras---- Maj. Gen. Stephen L. Danner, the adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard, along with other leadership from the Missouri Army Reserve National Guard, visited Honduras touring the engineering sites and visiting with the troops who are working here in support of Beyond the Horizon 2012 mission.

Soldiers with the 117th Asphalt Team, based at the Armory in Monett, and soldiers with the 276th Engineers, based at the Armory in Pierce City, have rotated in two-week cycles into Honduras as part of the effort. Local soldiers were building schools as well as medical and dental clinics. They are due to complete their tour on June 23.

Accompanying Danner was Brig. Gen. Randy A. Alewel, the commanding general of the 35th Engineer Brigade, Command Sgt. Maj. Jim Schulte, state command sergeant major of the Missouri National Guard, Sgt. Maj. Will Pierce, the sergeant major of the 35th Engineer Brigade, as well as other Missouri National Guard leadership.

The group took a tour of all the sites, speaking with soldiers and the site non-commissioned officers in charge and getting up-to-date on what has been taking place since Missouri National Guard soldiers first arrived in Honduras four months ago to support the BTH exercise.

Missouri National Guard leadership addressed the soldiers at a town-hall meeting during the tour.

"The things you have been doing down here have been outstanding," Danner said. "What I have seen down here confirms the fact that the National Guard is a unique organization that does things that no other service can do. I couldn't be more proud of what I have seen here today"

Soldiers have been working on building schools, medical clinics and providing other types of civic assistance to the people of Honduras, by request of the Honduran government.

Danner had the opportunity to sit down with Honduran Col. Rolando Discua, where they spoke about how the Honduran people and soldiers have reacted to the BTH mission.

Discua was more than gracious for the efforts of the U.S. soldiers and the hospitality of the U.S. Army.

"I really appreciate the U.S. for how they have been working with my soldiers," Discua said. "This has also provided us with a great training opportunity, we have worked well together."

Alewel expressed great thanks to Discua for the security and safety the Honduran soldiers have provided the U.S. soldiers throughout the mission.

"We can't thank you enough for what you have provided for our soldiers, this mission has been very successful, and a big part of that is what you have provided us," Alewel said, addressing Discua.

After the meeting both Danner and Alewel were presented with hats by Discua as an appreciation for what the U.S. has done in Honduras.

Both generals returned the favor, giving coins to Discua for the support he has given the U.S. throughout the duration of the BTH mission.

The TAG and the rest of MOARNG leadership flew to Guatemala to check on the progress of the BTH mission there.

BTH 2012 is a U.S. Army South exercise deploying military engineers and medical professionals to various countries in Central and South America for training, while providing services to rural communities. BTH is part of U.S. Southern Command's annual humanitarian and civic assistance program.

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