Courtesy City of Milton
Chris Ward to be part of Black Sea Rotational Force 2012.
MILTON, Ga., Sept. 8, 2011 - The City of Milton wishes police officer Chris Ward the best of luck as he leaves the department for more than a year to go on active duty as part of the United States Marine Corps' Black Sea Rotational Force 2012.
Ward, who has been with the Milton police for just under two years and in the Marine Corps Reserves' Fourth Reconnaissance Battalion for five, found out he was being deployed yesterday, Sept. 7. He will leave for training Oct. 1 and begin operations in Romania in March, 2012.
"I'll be part of a group that trains Eastern European militaries for combat in Afghanistan and counter-terrorism in the Black Sea region," he said. "We'll also do some security operations and humanitarian work where it's needed."
The force is an increasingly important counter-terrorism unit, he said, as cells from Syria, Iraq and Iran move through Turkey into areas of civil unrest in Eastern Europe across the Black Sea.
Ward said he was certainly aware he might be deployed this fall, so there was a contingency plan in place should big life events need to be postponed. For example, he was supposed to get married in May of 2012. Now, he getting married tomorrow, with a ceremony planned when he returns.
"When I got that official e-mail, it became real,' he said. "I called my mother and my fiancée at 8 a.m. We settled on Friday because the next few weeks are going to be hectic."Police Chief Deborah Harrell said it's tough to let a hard-working officer go, but when it is in the service of the country, there is no decision.
"I wish him the best," she said. "There will always be a place in Milton's ranks for Officer Ward."
Harrell said Ward dedicated himself full-time to Milton's residents, so his dedication to his country is no surprise.
"This makes me immensely proud to work with him," she said. "I welcome him back to the force as soon as he safely returns."