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by Wisconsin National Guard Public Affairs
Approximately 200 Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers landed safely on American soil July 26 after a year-long mobilization to Afghanistan.
The returning Soldiers from the 32nd “Red Arrow” Infantry Brigade Combat Team’s 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry, mobilized in July 2019 for deployment to Afghanistan where the unit served as “guardian angels” supporting the Army’s 3rd Security Force Assistance Brigade – or SFAB.
The troops landed safely at Fort Hood, Texas, where they will spend several weeks completing demobilization requirements before returning home to Wisconsin.
Approximately 400 Soldiers originally deployed with the battalion, but half of them returned in multiple waves this spring, while the remaining 200 continued their mission in Afghanistan.
The 128th replaced a fellow Wisconsin Army National Guard Red Arrow infantry battalion – the 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry – when it arrived in theater last year.
A portion of another Red Arrow unit – the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team’s headquarters – also returned to Fort Bliss, Texas, last week after a deployment to Ukraine. The brigade headquarters deployed to Ukraine’s Combat Training Center – Yavoriv last November where they served as the headquarters element for the training group at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center.
The troops return amidst an historic stretch of mobilizations for the Wisconsin National Guard, as the organization continues to maintain a high operations tempo in support of both its federal and state missions.
Approximately 150 Soldiers with the 829th Engineer Company continue operations across the Middle East and Afghanistan. The 924th Engineer Facilities Detachment and the 1967th Contracting Team also continue operations in Kuwait and the Horn of Africa respectively.
These deployments in support of the Wisconsin National Guard’s federal mission continue amidst the organization’s largest sustained domestic mobilization in history. More than 1,000 Wisconsin National Guard Citizen Soldiers and Airmen are on duty across Wisconsin conducting mobile testing for COVID-19, staffing a state call center for COVID-19 results, and providing logistics support. More than 2,400 Citizen Soldiers and Airmen also staffed polling locations during Wisconsin’s April 7 election, and another 160 assisted during a special election in the 7th Congressional District May 12. In late May and early June, more than 1,200 Wisconsin National Guard troops mobilized to state active duty to assist civil authorities in preserving public safety in five Wisconsin cities amidst civil unrest. Additional troops responded to Madison, Wisconsin in June in the wake of more civil unrest.