The Nevada Army National Guard’s 609th Combat Engineer Co. recently welcomed a new commander to the Fallon unit.
Capt. Joannes Lamprecht, a Carson City native, assumed command from Capt. Brett Eklund in a ceremony held at the Washoe County Armory.
Before assuming command, Lamprecht spent 10 years in the U.S. Air Force, and after leaving active duty, he joined the Nevada Army National Guard where he attended Officer Candidate School at Ft. Meade, S.D. The 1997 Carson High School graduate enlisted in the Air Force in 1998.
Lamprecht spent three years in the Air Force before the events of 9/11 changed the way the nation looked at the world.
“They were quiet years to 9/11, but then the military started to take a different turn,” he added.
Consequently, his military assignments took him to the other side of the world.
“I was a crew chief at Hill Air Force Base (Utah) but then spent a one-year tour in Korea,” Lamprecht said. “I had two deployments to Iraq with the Air Force.”
One of his most memorable duties in the Air Force was serving as a flight engineer for a C5 Galaxy military transport aircraft. The time spent aboard the C5 ferrying soldiers later enticed him to leave the Air Force to become a soldier himself.
“Flying C5s ... we did a lot of missions with the Army,” Lamprecht said. “I was able to see the types of missions they were doing.”
Another mission Lamprecht said brought the reality of war closer to him was when the flight crew performed the honor mission by flying home the bodies of deceased servicemen and women from the war zone.
“It was a time to reflect,” Lamprecht said of the solemn duty.
Although Lamprecht said flying in the Air Force was exciting, he was looking for another challenge; the thought of coming home again was also on his mind.
Once he joined the National Guard six years ago, Lamprecht, who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautics from Embry Riddle, completed his OCS and attended branch training to become an engineer.
“I wanted to do something different,” he said. “I thought about (flying) helicopters, but I wanted to see what the actual soldiers did … those I dropped off.”
Barely out of training, Lamprecht deployed to Iraq again but this time as a soldier attached to the Louisiana Army National Guard. The Guard unit deployed to Tikrit, the birthplace of Saddam Hussein. While in the Air Force, he was assigned to Joint Base Balad, formerly known as Al-Bakr Air Base, 40 miles north of Baghdad. Lamprecht said his familiarity with Iraq was a plus when he deployed in 2009-2010 with Louisiana.
Although the military has drawn down in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Lamprecht said his primary goal as company commander is to ensure his soldiers are still ready to go to war at any notice.
Lamprecht, who is a full-time technician in Carson City in the Construction Facility Management Office, is married and has three children.