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Farewell to the 173rd Long Range Surveillance Detachment 

Farewell to the 173rd Long Range Surveillance Detachment

On Saturday, September 19th 2009 the 173rd LRSD celebrated the end of its 23 year history in the Rhode Island National Guard.

The traditional dining in ceremony brought together past and present members to share memories and reminisce. Part of the ceremony was the unveiling of a commemorative painting that captures the history of the 173rd LRS. The painter, Ronnie Deziel used unit photos to create a painting spanning the training conducted in Rhode Island and the unit’s deployment to Iraq and return. “After meeting with them and attending a bosslift to the Fort Indian Town Gap training center in August, I really felt comfortable expressing their humble service and great heroism on canvas. It is a truly American story and I am proud to tell it.” Deziel went as far as to replicate real unit member’s faces into the artwork. The great work almost went unpublished due to the expense of getting prints of the painting made.

Then 500 of the prints were created free of charge from Meridian Printing of East Greenwich, RI. Bob Nangle, President of Meridian Printing became aware of the project through a former 173rd member and donated his company’s services to the cause. “What the members of the military, and in this case, specifically the Rhode Island National Guard, do for us daily, is not lost upon me nor the employees of Meridian Printing. “ stated Nangle. “We are keenly aware that we are able to perform our jobs and live our lives in freedom, as Americans, due to the fact that people like the members of the 173d LRSD are willing to sacrifice and serve this great country. It is an honor and a pleasure to help memorialize their proud history while providing a mechanism for the Family Readiness Group to raise funds which help the families of deployed Soldiers.” concluded Nangle. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the prints will go to the unit’s Family Readiness Group.

The 173rd is retiring its flag due to modularity changes in the U.S. Army. Its members will be reassigned to a new Rhode Island Army National Guard unit, C Company 1 Battalion, 143 Infantry Airborne.

A Long Range Surveillance Detachment is a 56 man unit capable of intelligence gathering deep in enemy territory. One of the unit’s 6 to 8 man team will deploy to gather intelligence through surveillance and reconnaissance while remaining without support for as long as needed or until supplies are depleted.

If you are interested in purchasing a print please contact Ron Deziel at or 401-765-4845