Florida National Guard reaches deployment milestone

The Florida National Guard is preparing for an important moment: the deployment of the 17,000th guardsman.

The recent defense budget cuts have hindered the Florida National Guard’s ability to train troops that will be deployed to domestic and foreign missions. Yet, it met this milestone Saturday with the deployment of 100 military police from the Florida National Guard’s 715th Military Police Company from Melbourne, Fla.

“Our Florida guardsmen have been on the forefront of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Maj. Gen. Emmett R. Titshaw Jr., the adjutant general of Florida in a press release dated March 22. “These citizen-soldiers and airmen have proven with their competence and professionalism that the National Guard truly can be a cost-effective force multiplier alongside our active duty counterparts.”

According to the press release, there are 1,165 guardsmen currently deployed throughout the United States and abroad. The number of deployed military men and women is not expected to change until mid-fall this year. In October 2013, the larger units that have been deployed are expected to return home.

The Florida National Guard was established in 1565 and has 61 armories in 39 counties in the state of Florida.