Five years after his death, Sgt. Michael Kelley honored in memorial.
CAMP EDWARDS, Mass. — A chapel service was held at the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station, Cape Cod, Sunday to remember a Massachusetts National Guard Soldier who was killed in action June 8, 2005, while serving in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The chapel service was followed by a ceremony and laying of flowers at the Sgt. Michael J. Kelley Memorial on Tactical Training Base Kelley. The TTB was named in honor of Kelley, a member of the 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery, based out of Rehoboth, and is designed to rapidly train Soldiers through full emersion in a setting much like the one they will experience in combat.
After leaving flowers at the memorial site, Kelley’s father, Joseph, spoke with Soldiers on the TTB before taking a tour of the compound. He said that it has been a hard five years since his son’s death, but Michael would be very proud of the National Guard Soldiers training at TTB Kelley.
Currently, the Massachusetts National Guard is hosting one of the largest pre-mobilization training exercises at Camp Edwards seen on the Massachusetts Military Reservation since World War II. The exercise, based out of TTB Kelley, is known as XCTC (eXportable Combat Training Capability) and consists of Soldiers training on a series of field exercises designed with the overseas environment in mind.
The goal of this training is to provide high quality, realistic battlefield experience for approximately 2,000 Soldiers as they prepare for mobilization in support of Operation Enduring Freedom / Iraqi Freedom. The rigorous exercises provide tough, realistic training and the means for mobilizing Soldiers to achieve required certification and proficiency for deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan.
The XCTC experience greatly enhances pre-mobilization training for the deploying Soldiers, ensures combat readiness and survivability and provides an economic boost to the base and the local area.