An artillery battalion based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord is to deploy to the Middle East soon to join the battle against the Islamic State group.
Soldiers of the 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment held a deployment ceremony Tuesday, said Capt. Pete Mrvos, a spokesman for the 17th Field Artillery Brigade.
They are to fly to the Middle East soon for a 9-month deployment, Mrvos said. It will be the battalion’s second deployment to the region in the past two years.
The unit operates High Mobility Rocket Systems, known as HIMARS. The truck-based weapon, which fires GPS-guided rockets, has a range of 15 to 300 kilometers.
In addition to providing fire support to the Iraqi Army in the fight against the Islamic State, the battalion “will build relationships with partner militaries,” including Jordanian and Emirati HIMARS units, Mrvos said.
“The goal will be to share our best practices with our partners and to learn from them,” he said.
Another JBLM-based HIMARS battalion returned in October from a 9-month deployment to the region.
The 1st Battalion, 94th Field Artillery Regiment fired nearly 700 rockets against Islamic State targets during its deployment.