Army engineer unit in Miss. preps for Afghanistan

VICKSBURG — More than 100 people turned out Friday to cheer and say goodbye to local soldiers deploying from the U.S. Army’s 412th Engineer Command to Afghanistan.

The 60-member unit will train three months at Camp Shelby, near Hattiesburg, before going overseas.

Lt. Col. Mark Leighton said the soldiers will help rebuild the infrastructure of Afghanistan by digging wells and improving communications networks.

This is the first overseas deployment by the 412th since the organization converted from an engineer command to a theater engineer command as part of the Army’s new modular force structure.

Vicksburg Mayor Paul E. Winfield, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and 412th Commander Maj. Gen. Paul F. Hamm gave soldiers and families words of encouragement.

The Associated Press