Governor travels to Kuwait to thank National Guard members serving there

By: - August 4, 2022 10:24 am

Gov. Pete Ricketts talks to Capt. Jared L. Baker, left, outgoing commander of the 1057th Military Police Company and Capt. Grant J. Hewitt, the inbound commander of the 1057th, during a visit to Kuwait earlier this year for a change of command ceremony. (Courtesy of Nebraska National Guard Capt. Brittney Truscott)

LINCOLN — The public schedule for Gov. Pete Ricketts this week said he was on “out of state travel” until Friday. Turns out, it was way out of state.

Ricketts traveled to Camp Arifjan in Kuwait as well as Qatar to thank Nebraska National Guard soldiers for their service in the Middle East.

The governor spoke during a transfer of command ceremony from one detachment of Nebraskans to another in Kuwait.

The trip was official business, but the Republican governor paid the cost of the overseas flight, according to Ricketts spokeswoman Alex Reuss. He stayed in military housing while visiting bases in Kuwait and Qatar, she said.

The Scottsbluff-based team of the 1057th Military Police deployed in October 2021.  They are being replaced by the Kearney-based detachment of the 1057th.

The 1057th Military Police Company has been providing law enforcement at Camp Arifjan. Right now, about 120 soldiers and airmen from Nebraska are deployed in Kuwait. Another 300 are deployed to Qatar and the southwest U.S., according to a National Guard spokesman.

Ricketts, according to a press release, said that unlike 25 years ago, National Guard members now expect to be deployed for service elsewhere.

“We pray for the safety and success of the second team as they carry on the great work of the Nebraska National Guard in the Middle East,” Ricketts said.

Joining the governor was Major Gen. Daryl L. Bohac, adjutant general of the Nebraska National Guard.

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Paul Hammel
Paul Hammel

Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska state government and the state for decades. Previously with the Omaha World-Herald, Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha Sun, he is a member of the Omaha Press Club's Hall of Fame. He grows hops, brews homemade beer, plays bass guitar and basically loves traveling and writing about the state. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation.

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