Home : News
NEWS | Nov. 18, 2021

Tennessee National Guard unit prepares to deploy

By Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Cordeiro, Tennessee National Guard Public Affairs Office

SMYRNA, Tenn. – Members of the 208th Area Support Medical Company have responded to natural disasters, played a major role in the state’s COVID-19 response, and are now preparing for a year-long overseas deployment.

Next month, more than 50 Soldiers assigned to the 208th will deploy to five countries in the U.S. Central Command area of operations. Their mission is to treat patients with disease or minor injuries, initial resuscitation and stabilization, and advanced trauma life support.

The 208th, comprised of medics, dentists, health care providers and behavioral health specialists, is equipped to provide medical support while deployed worldwide.

“Throughout the past year, we have streamlined all our medical readiness training in preparation for this deployment,” said Maj. Heather Real, 208th’s company commander. “We’ve completed Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Advanced Trauma Life Support, and Tactical Combat Casualty Care. Additionally, we have been working through completing all of our Basic Army Warrior Tasks that are prerequisites for all Soldiers deploying overseas.”

Before any deployment, Soldiers must undergo a series of qualifications to certify individual and unit readiness. Recently, the 208th completed movement drills, a hand grenade qualification, and react-to-contact exercises.

“We have an excellent group of medics here in the 208th,” said Real. “We’ve also been blessed with an incredible team of leaders. I’m really proud of all they have accomplished to this point, and I’m confident in their abilities as we head overseas.”