Experienced engineer NCO promoted; selected for top recruiting job

Command Sgt. Maj. Kameel Farag was promoted to his current rank from master sergeant on Sept. 11 at the Brunswick Armory before an audience of family, friends, veterans and fellow soldiers.
Farag, a legacy combat and construction engineer, enlisted in the Maine Army National Guard in 1998 and has since served in the positions of team leader, squad leader, platoon sergeant and first sergeant. He served in an Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) status for several units as an administrative NCO, training NCO, readiness NCO, and as both battalion and brigade operations NCO. Farag also deployed twice with the 133rd Engineer Battalion, to Iraq in 2004-2005, and to Afghanistan in 2013-2014.
His next assignment is as the command sergeant major of the Maine Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion (RRB).


Maine Army National Guard opens new readiness center in The County

Rhe 185th Engineer Support Company cut the ribbon on their new home Sept. 10, a project nearly three years in the making.
Maj. Gen. Douglas Farnham, Maine’s adjutant general thanked Devoe Construction, WBRC Architects & Engineers, and all the subcontractors involved over the past 18 months, especially during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also thanked Maine’s congressional delegation for working together on issues related to the National Guard. “Their support is critical to making this type of project possible,” said Farnham.

Soldiers led tours for attendees following the ribbon cutting, highlighting the new facility’s multi-purpose training rooms, full-service kitchen, assembly hall, classroom space, and maintenance bay. The facility will be available for community use through the Maine Army National Guard’s armory rental program.
The new 44,000-square-foot readiness center will house approximately 75 of the unit’s 100 soldiers, and replaces the 185th’s facility in Caribou. The unit continues to maintain a detachment in Houlton.
Robert Frank, of WBRC, and Mr. Marc Dube, Maine Army National Guard project manager, offered remarks on the collaborative teamwork that went into the new facility in order to ensure it had both the best available features for the unit, and the latest in energy-efficient technology. Dube then presented the unit commander, Capt. Evan Richards, with a commemorative shovel used to break ground on the facility in November 2018.
City and state representatives and veterans attended, as well as Reed Devoe of Devoe Construction and representatives for Sen. Susan Collins and Congressman Jared Golden.
“Our organization has had a rich history in Aroostook County since 1894,” said Farnham. “It began with Company L, 2nd Maine Infantry Regiment in Houlton. In 1922, they were reorganized into the 152nd Field Artillery Regiment. Artillery maintained a foothold in The County through 2007, when the battalion was consolidated into the 185th Engineer Support Company, who proudly retains the motto ‘County Thunder,’ an homage to their field artillery days.”
Farnham said that despite all the features of the new facility, the real investment is in the capabilities and readiness of Maine soldiers.
One of four engineer companies under the 133rd Engineer Battalion, the 185th has played a significant role in numerous community projects through the Innovative Readiness Training program, to include missions in St. Agatha, Caswell, and as far south as Kittery, where they recently completed the Maine National Guard’s involvement in the Wood Island restoration project.
In January 2021, several soldiers from the 185th were sent to Washington, D.C., in support of the 59th Presidential Inauguration. Nationwide, over 21,000 National Guardsmen responded to the nation’s capital.

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