The New Jersey National Guard is deploying approximately 1,500 Soldiers from the 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team to the Middle East, marking the largest deployment of New Jersey Army National Guard Soldiers since 2008.
The soldiers, known as the “Jersey Blues,” will be supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the United States military’s operational name for the international campaign against the Islamic State, encompassing efforts in Iraq, Syria, and Libya.
Dignitaries, including New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy and Senator Cory Booker, attended the ceremony to offer their support and gratitude. Governor Murphy addressed the troops with words of encouragement and appreciation for their selflessness, service, and commitment. “To all of you in the 44th, whether you’re continuing the legacy of the continental army, or your own family legacy, or you’re the first in your family to serve, I extend my heartfelt thanks to each of you and your families for the sacrifices you are making,” said Governor Murphy.
Following the ceremony, the service members will travel from New Jersey to Fort Bliss in Texas for a five-week training period, after which they will proceed to their overseas deployment.