1-168th to host open house in Council Bluffs

ING LogoFrom Press Release


The Iowa Army National Guard’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry will host an open house at their Council Bluffs Readiness Center, located at 2415 E. Kanesville Blvd., on Saturday, April 11, from 1 to 5 p.m. The public is cordially invited to attend and refreshments will be provided.

Visitors will have the opportunity to tour an Iowa National Guard Readiness Center and observe demonstrations of military weapons, communications systems, night vision optics, and military vehicle displays. Soldiers will be available to answer questions about life as an Iowa National Guard Soldier, military equipment, college benefits, and how military skills translate into valuable civilian job skills.

From the early days of the U.S. Civil War, to recent operations in Afghanistan, the 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry, Iowa Army National Guard has played a vital role in defending America, celebrating their 150th year of service in 2011.

They were originally organized by Col. Grenville Dodge as the 4th Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry and mustered into federal service on Aug. 8, 1861 at Camp Kirkwood, located just south of what is now Council Bluffs. The unit saw action in Civil War campaigns at Pea Ridge, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, Atlanta, and various locations in Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina (1861-64).

The 168th Infantry also fought in the Philippine Insurrection during the Spanish-American War (1898-99); World War I in France (Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, Lorraine and Champagne campaigns) (1917-18); World War II (Algeria-French Morocco and Tunisia, then continued combat in the Italian campaign at Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Arno, the North Apennines and Po Valley) (1941-45); two Operation Enduring Freedom deployments in Afghanistan (2004-05 and 2010-11), and one Operation Iraqi Freedom deployment in Iraq (Company D) (2007-08).

Originally constructed in 1993, the Council Bluffs Readiness Center recently underwent a $4.5 million renovation project, which was completed in June 2014. The project included renovation of 22,300 square feet of existing facility space and the conversion of 12,000 square feet of the adjoining motor vehicle storage building to Readiness Center space. The existing facility also received new ceilings, wall and floor coverings, energy-efficient Heating-Ventilation-Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems and windows.