162 members of the Wyoming Army National Guard's 133rd Engineer Company took to the floor in formation at UW's Arena Auditorium Thursday, as a crowd of well-wishers in the stands cheered them on.

The company, based in Laramie, will be deployed for Operation Enduring Freedom.  Army National Guard soldiers who represent several Wyoming communities and five other states were be honored at the ceremony. Including 14 UW students and 10 others who are either WyoTech or Wyoming community college students.

The Wyoming Army National Guard unit received federal mobilization orders for 400 days to conduct base security operations to support Operation Enduring Freedom. The unit will receive more than one month of pre-deployment training at Camp Shelby, Miss., followed by nine months in Bahrain, a small island country situated near the western shores of the Persian Gulf.

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead addressed the troops by way of a prerecorded video message, saying that he regrettably could not attend the ceremony, as he is, himself, currently returning from the Bahrain region.  Mead went on to say that he plans to meet the 133rd in Mississippi to see them off personally.

Secretary of State Max Maxfield was on hand during the ceremony.  He presented the company with a "Welcome to Wyoming" sign.  A tradition dating back to the Korean War.