Wash. Army Guard field artillery unit to move back to Walla Walla

CAMP MURRAY, Wash. -- The Washington Army National Guard announced that Alpha Battery 2-146th Field Artillery will be re-stationing from the Montesano Armory to the Walla Walla Armory. Here's the official announcement:

The move brings the Washington Army National Guard field artillery unit back to Walla Walla, where field artillery began in the Washington National Guard almost 100 years ago.

Alpha Battery consists of 54 guardsmen whose specialties range from cannon crewmember to Fire Direction Specialists. The unit provides long range fire support during combat operations with the use of 75MM Pack Howitzers and Paladins.

"The community of Walla Walla is very important to the Washington National Guard," said Major General Bret Daugherty, the adjutant general and commander of the Washington National Guard. "The tradition and history of the field artillery in the community of Walla Walla is second to none and we are excited to return this capability to the city where it started."

Walla Walla and the 146th Field Artillery Regiment have strong historical ties that go back to World War I when the first field artillery unit in the state of Washington was mustered to service. Those guardsmen served at Fort Walla Walla before moving into the Walla Walla Armory. 146th Regiment has served in multiple overseas engagements including the European theatre of World War I and in the Pacific theatre during World War II. Recently, Guardsmen from the regiment have served in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2004 and 2008.

The citizen-soldiers and airmen of the Washington National Guard are dedicated to the mission of safeguarding lives and property in Washington State, and serving as sentinels for freedom overseas.