Snohomish Army National Guard unit deployed to Middle East

Soldiers assigned to Snohomish’s 176th Engineer Company, Washington State Army National Guard, departed March 30 for deployment to the Middle East.

The vertical engineer company of electricians, plumbers, carpenters and masons will maintain and build facilities on military bases throughout U.S. Central Command in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

“As a guard unit, most of us have a lot of construction experience on the civilian side that we bring to the table,” said Sgt. 1st Class Omar Trujillo, an operations noncommissioned officer. “So that’s why we’re very good at construction missions — better than most active Army units, I’d wager.”

Soldiers will also focus on personal goals.

Spc. Christie Apker, a carpenter who deployed in 2005 on a similar mission, uses her experience to mentor the younger soldiers.

“We do have a couple of single moms and I was a single mom the first time I deployed … so I try to give them some moral support and what to prepare for, as well as how to be in the military being a female,” Apker said.

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