HAMMONTON — Family and friends will say goodbye Sunday to more than 100 National Guard members from The 150th Engineer Company who are being deployed to Afghanistan for nine months.

The citizen soldiers, 25 of whom are from Atlantic County, will prepare areas to be returned to Afghan control by deconstructing U.S. military bases and building infrastructure, said Public Affairs Officer Kryn P. Westhoven, of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

The community farewell ceremony will be 9 a.m. Sunday at the company’s headquarters at the Hammonton Armory, 550 South Egg Harbor Road.

The Hammonton Police Department and area motorcycle groups will escort the group to the main gate at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. A Hammonton Fire Department ladder truck will be hung with flags and stationed at the intersection of route 206 and 54 in town, in a tribute to the company, Westhoven said.

Led by Capt. Jeffrey Hager and First Sgt. Paulo Amado, it is the first time the company has deployed, Westhoven said. In 2005, the unit was established as the 110th Engineer Detachment and then re-designated as the 150th Engineer Company in 2007.

On Monday the company will head to the mobilization station at Camp Shelby, Miss., to begin the Operation Enduring Freedom deployment.

Contact Michelle Brunetti Post:

609-272-7219

Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.