- Associated Press - Saturday, December 5, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina National Guard is promoting a seasoned combat engineer and Iraq veteran to the rank of brigadier general.

Army Col. Brad Owens is the director of the Joint Staff for the Guard and oversees its homeland defense operations and domestic response missions. He also administers its rapid reaction force, counterdrug operations, civil support teams, deployable medical support teams and explosive ordnance disposal unit.

The ceremony takes place Sunday at the National Guard Headquarters in Columbia.

Owens began his 30-year military career upon receiving a regular Army commission in the U.S. Army Engineer Corps. He is a 1985 graduate of Clemson University.

Owens deployed to Iraq in 2003 as commander of the 122nd Engineer Battalion, overseeing 900 engineers.

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