Today, Governor Bobby Jindal joined the Adjutant General of the Louisiana National Guard, Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Landreneau at a ceremony to welcome home members of the Louisiana National Guard from a tour in Iraq. The Governor greeted approximately 120 members of the 225th Engineer Brigade at Camp Beauregard in Pineville.
Governor Jindal said, "It's an honor to welcome these heroes back to Louisiana. They were willing to put their lives on the line and made incredible sacrifices on behalf of this great country. We're forever grateful for their service and their courageous actions will never be forgotten. My prayers are with the brave soldiers who are overseas today defending freedom and I look forwarding to welcoming them home upon a safe return."
Maj. Gen. Landreneau said, "The soldiers of the 225th Engineer Brigade and their families are truly great Americans and we are grateful to everyone who came out to show their appreciation and gratitude. These heroes stepped up to our nation's call to protect our freedoms, many of them on their second deployment or more, which is a testament to their patriotism and sense of duty."
The 225th Engineer Brigade, based in Pineville, was mobilized for deployment to Iraq in December of 2008, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Deployed in Iraq for approximately nine months, their mission included coordinating the route clearance efforts of ten different Brigade Combat Teams to clear over 295,000 kilometers of roads of improvised explosive devices, in addition to providing general construction and demolition services for infrastructure. This was the unit's first mobilization to Iraq.
The 225th also provided services directly to the citizens of Baghdad by assisting the Brigade Combat Teams in over 400 local projects, such as building schools, playgrounds, and establishing water and electricity services.
The 225th Engineer Brigade is one of the largest engineer formations in the United States Army National Guard. Its missions include mobility, counter-mobility, survivability and civil engineering support, and the brigade possesses a mixture of civil and combat engineer units to accomplish these assignments. From 2006 to 2009, hundreds of soldiers from the 225th served on "Task Force Gator," which provided law enforcement support to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
In 2008, the 225th completed over 100 engineering missions during Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, which included clearing 4600 miles of roadways and removing 22,000 cubic yards of debris.