Hodgeman County Deputy Sheriff John Whistler is set to deploy with his Kansas Army National Guard Unit to the Horn of Africa at the end of January. Whistler has been a Deputy with the Sheriff’s Office since August of 2009.
Whistler has been a member of the National Guard for ten years and is a Sergeant in Battery E of the 161st Field Artillery Battalion. He is currently assigned as a field artillery scout and radar operator in his unit, which is a Target Acquisition Battery. Whistler previously was deployed to Iraq in 2005-2006.
After receiving mission specific training stateside, Whistler will be deployed with a Joint Combat Search and Rescue platoon in Djibouti. Djibouti is located in the Horn of Africa and is bordered by Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. Yemen is to the north across the Gulf of Aden, and Uganda and Kenya are also with the scope of the mission. The United States deploys soldiers to this region to improve the security and stability of the region, which is plagued by internal strife and extremist violence.