About 170 soldiers with the 128th Military Police Company will deploy to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, this winter “to provide security forces support to units based there,” according to a news release from the Alabama National Guard.
The 128th, a unit out of Athens, will undergo additional training at Fort Bliss, Texas before deploying to the island prison, where the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo has housed as many as 800 suspected terrorists since the 9/11 attacks. A New York Times/NPR analysis published last fall stated that fewer than 200 prisoners remained there and that the rest had been transferred to other countries.
The unit headed there after a departure ceremony last Saturday at 2 p.m. in Huntsville.
Another Guard unit, the Birmingham-based 135th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, will be heading to Fort Hood, Texas, later this month for additional training before heading to Kuwait. The unit has about 250 soldiers.
At present, the Alabama Army Guard has about 850 soldiers deployed overseas, most of them in Afghanistan.