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SSC-Natick Press Release

U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick
Public Affairs Office
Kansas Street
Natick, MA 01760-5012

Contact: Chief, Public Affairs Office
(508) 233-5340

Date: April 5, 2004
No: 04-13

Installation bids farewell to National Guard troops

NATICK, Mass. -- National Guard soldiers of Company B, 101st Engineer Battalion, 42nd Infantry Division, were formally recognized for a job well done during a farewell ceremony at Hunter Auditorium March 25.

The unit augmented the installation security force as part of Operation Noble Eagle since June 2003 and will be returning to their civilian lives unless called up again to serve on another mission.

"They have provided outstanding support. Like the other units before them, they made a great sacrifice leaving behind family, friends and jobs in their service," said Col. David Bongi, installation commander. "Most of them never expected to deploy to Natick, but they're in the forefront of our defense. I speak on behalf of the entire work force: We thank you for a job well done."

Besides checking individual identification and inspecting vehicles entering the installation, the Guardsmen had other responsibilities, such as perimeter surveillance and forming a quick reaction force.

They intercepted illegal contraband entering the post on several occasions and stood watch over the most recent protest marking the one-year anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq.

"It's not the most glamorous mission, but the Soldiers understood the importance to national security," said Capt. Dennis Ford, company commander. "It wasn't always easy to be outside in the cold, but we never got complacent in our duties. We couldn't have asked for better support from the installation."

He added that the Soldier Systems Center was a nice place to work, a feeling matched by others.

"It was a good duty. The people are really friendly. I enjoyed it, and I know my Soldiers enjoyed it," said Sgt. John McHale. "I'd like to thank everyone on the installation for being so hospitable. It was a good experience."

Staff Sgt. Vincent Dembro said the mission was a great opportunity for him. "(The installation) has a great operation going on down there. It made it easy," he said.

Each Soldier was presented with a certificate of appreciation by Bongi. They also received a standing ovation from the employees in attendance.

For more information about the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center, please visit our website at

This page last updated on 23 January 2004.