National Guard Change of Command

Saturday, February 25, 2012
Photos and Text by Nick J. Schneider, Assistant Editor

The Linton-based Indiana National Guard Company A, 1-151st Combat Team -- The Avengers -- are preparing for a deployment into a war zone, the third time since 2003. Saturday morning the unit conducted a Change of Command ceremony at the armory. First Lt. Adam Balbach, of Evansville, assumed command of the unit from Capt. Justin Meinhardt, of Indianapolis. The new commander works full-time for the Indiana National Guard at battalion headquarters in Jasper as 1-151st infantry training officer. Former commander Meinhardt, a native of Ferdinand in Dubois County, is joining the National Guard battalion headquarters staff at Jasper as the logistics officer for the upcoming mobilization. Meinhardt, of Indianapolis, took over command of Company A from Capt. Andrew Wood, of Coal City, in March 2010. The local Guard unit is expected to leave for pre-mobilization training at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center (CAJMTC) near Edinburgh in July. They will depart in October for Afghanistan, according to 1-151st Combat Team Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Eric Derue, who conducted the Change of Command ceremony. The 1-151 soldiers received their alert order in December and mobilization order on Feb. 14.