Dept. of Military Affairs: West Bend-based guard unit returning to Wisconsin from Afghanistan

Contact: Capt. Joe Trovato
608-345-7585
ngwi.pao@mail.mil

Senior Wisconsin Army National Guard leaders will join families and friends to welcome home approximately 35 Soldiers from the West Bend, Wisconsin-based Company C, 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation, Nov. 8 at Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee.

The first flight of Soldiers is expected to arrive in Milwaukee at approximately noon Nov. 8 with additional flights throughout the day.

The Soldiers are returning to Wisconsin after completing demobilization requirements at Fort Hood, Texas, where they arrived last week after a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel. The unit provided UH-60 Black Hawk medevac support to U.S. and coalition forces in their assigned area of operations.

The Soldiers originally mobilized in February before conducting pre-mobilization training at Fort Hood and then deploying to Afghanistan where they provided aeromedical evacuations for personnel operating in the region.

In addition to the 168th, Wisconsin National Guard troops continue to play an active role in global security operations, fulfilling its mission as the primary combat reserve of the Army and Air Force.Soldiers of the West Bend-based 248th Aviation Support Battalion deployed to the Middle East Sept. 30.Approximately 270 Airmen from the 115th Fighter Wing deployed to Korea in August, while 110 Airmen from the 128th Air Control Squadron deployed to Southwest Asia in May, and more than 70 Airmen from the 128th Air Refueling Wing in Milwaukee are deploying worldwide to support global security operations. Another 150 Soldiers from the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s Madison, Wisconsin-based1st Battalion, 147th Aviation deployed to Kuwait last spring as well.

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin National Guard has been busy fulfilling the other half of its dual-mission as the nation’s first military responder in times of emergency. Approximately 650 Wisconsin National Guard troops recently returned from Florida where they provided humanitarian relief, security and traffic control support to communities in the wake of Hurricane Irma. In addition, Airmen from the 128th Air Refueling Wing, 115th Fighter Wing and Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center deployed to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the wake of Hurricane Maria this fall. Two Wisconsin National Guard UH-60 Black Hawks and 19 Soldiers recently deployed to the U.S. Virgin Islands to assist with medevac missions there.

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