Gov. Crist honors Florida National Guard 631st Maintenance Company deploying to Iraq
STARKE – Gov. Charlie Crist today expressed his gratitude to members the Florida National Guard’s 631st Maintenance Company for their service as they prepare to deploy for Operation Iraqi Freedom. The ceremony was held at Madison Street Baptist Church Activity Center in Starke with nearly 200 guardsmen and women and their families, primarily from North Florida area, in attendance. The 631st Maintenance Company will depart Camp Blanding Tuesday, July 28, for Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, for advanced training and preparation before heading overseas.
The 631st Maintenance Company specializes in maintenance of wheeled vehicles, weapons, communications equipment and night vision gear. During their 2003 deployment, the 631st supported every National Guard and Reserve unit that processed through Fort Stewart, Georgia, on their way to and from operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The company processed more than 50,000 pieces of equipment to ensure each unit going to and from combat zones was “fully mission capable.” Additionally, in 2004, 2005 and 2006 the 631st Maintenance Company also served for state active duty in support of hurricane missions.
Earlier this year, Crist praised the brave men and women of the Florida National Guard 779th Engineer Battalion prior to their deployment in May 2008. Earlier this month, Lt. Gov. Kottkamp thanked the Florida National Guard 144th Transportation Company during a deployment ceremony in Tallahassee. Collectively, nearly 300 guardsmen and women are deployed.
Starke is known as a “good National Guard” town and has a history that can be charted from the early 1880’s. The company was last relocated to Starke in 1996 from Crystal River, Florida.
Source: Office of the Governor