DES MOINES, Iowa -- Adjutant General Ben Corell says the year 2020 will be one of the busiest for deployments in a decade.
Nearly 30% of Iowa National Guard soldiers will be deployed in the coming year, Corell said in his first Condition of the Guard Address at the Iowa Capitol.
"Currently, we have about 100 Iowa National Guard Soldiers and Airmen deployed," Corell told the Iowa legislature, "By this time next year we expect to see over 2,000 Iowa National Guard members deployed overseas." Corell says it will be the biggest deployment of Iowa National Guard Forces since 2011. Those soldiers will support operations in the EUCOM, CENTCOM, and AFRICOM theaters.
General Corell says 2020 will begin a time of great change for Iowa National Guard facilities in the state. That means the opening of a new readiness center and the closing of other facilities.
"We can no longer delay the inevitable. At some point very soon, we will start the process to close select Army Guard facilities within the state that no longer can support the needs of the Iowa National Guard," Corell said, "We have initiated a careful and deliberate process to assess the future viability of all of our facilities measured against the needs of future force structure requirements and forecasted state demographic patterns."
The Iowa National Guard will also welcome a major new facility in 2020. In April a new Davenport Readiness Center will open. The $23 million facility will replace the Davenport Brady Street Armory, one of the oldest facilities still in use by the National Guard.
Corell took over command the Iowa National Guard in August, succeeding the retired Timothy Orr. Corell was born in Strawberry Point, Iowa. He began his Iowa National Guard career 34 years ago.