The Maine Army National Guard’s 262nd Engineer Company has been notified that its planned deployment to Afghanistan has been canceled.

The Westbrook-based company, which has about 150 members had been scheduled to depart in December in support of rebuilding operations. The unit operates heavy engineer equipment, such as bulldozers and front-end loaders, to build roads, airfields, and move tons of earth and material.

“The Maine Army National Guard staff is quickly evaluating the impact of this announcement and will ensure that we support our soldiers and their families as they transition back to a more regular training cycle and adjust to the cancellation of their combat deployment,” Brig. Gen. James Campbell said in a statement. “We have been aware for some time that there was a possibility that the 262nd Engineer Company would not deploy, given the draw-down of our forces and the transition of the mission in Afghanistan.”

The cancellation marks the first time in more than a decade that the Maine Army National Guard does not have a unit deployed or ready to deploy, but Campbell said guard members are always ready.

“The high state of professionalism, morale, and readiness in the 262nd Engineer Company and all of our units unit will not change – we will remain fully prepared for any mission in support of our citizens, both at home and abroad,” he said.

The deployment cancellation was made by U.S. Central Command and is related to President Obama’s order to reduce military forces in Afghanistan.

Staff Writer Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @PPHEricRussell

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