by Staff Sgt. Amber Peck and Sgt. Payton Wehr

MADISON, Wis. — After months of preparation and training, a group of Soldiers with the 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment (MPAD), headquartered in Madison, are deploying to Eastern Europe to support the Operation European Assure, Deter, Reinforce mission.

The mission is part of the United States’ commitment to the international order and the security of NATO allies. The mass communication specialists of the MPAD will provide public affairs support to U.S. and allied forces operating in the region.

Senior Wisconsin National Guard leaders joined families and friends to bid farewell to the deploying Soldiers during a formal sendoff ceremony on May 7.

Brig. Gen. Matthew Strub, Wisconsin’s deputy adjutant general for Army, spoke at the ceremony and told the deploying Soldiers that he knows they will do well during their time overseas.

“I have the upmost confidence and faith in you as fellow Wisconsinites and fellow Wisconsin Guard members,” Strub said. “I trust in you, your training, your character, and I know you have what it takes to be successful.”

Maj. Joseph Trovato, the MPAD commander, said he’s excited about the mission but also knows the impact it has on family and friends back home.

“Today is certainly bittersweet; it’s a tough day, one that is hard on families,” Trovato said. “But it is also an incredible opportunity that we will have to effect change in a very volatile and highly strategic part of the world right now.”

Staff Sgt. Oscar Gollaz, a noncommissioned officer who has been with the MPAD since 2013, says a deployment like this one is like the Super Bowl of their military occupational specialty.

“I’m really excited for the deployment as it provides the perfect opportunity to showcase our jobs and specialties like producing a news package, writing stories, interacting with media from across the world to tell the Army story, and more,” Gollaz said.

The MPAD will complete their formal pre-mobilization training in Fort Bliss, Texas, before deploying to Europe where they are expected to serve until next spring.

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