1st female combat engineer deployed to Iraq
Pfc. Nessy Sanders, stands next to the vehicle she drove in Iraq during Operation Inherent Resolve. In August 2016, Sanders became the first female to deploy to Erbil, Iraq as a Combat Engineer since the Military Occupational Specialty 12B was opened to women in June 2015. Sanders is assigned to Company B, 39th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 101st Airborne Division. A Combat Engineers duties include constructing fighting positions, fixed and floating bridges, obstacles and defensive positions and emplacing and detonationg explosives. Sanders is from Columbus, Mississippi. Her mother also served in the Army in the mid-1980s. Erbil, Iraq is home to one of four Combined Joint Task Force locations under Operation Inherent Reslove dedicated to training Iraqi defense forces to assist in the defeat of ISIL in Iraq and Syria.