Connecticut National Guard Welcomes Home 150 Soldiers, Will Send Off Another 50

The Day

By: Julia Bergman

July 30, 2019

As 50 Connecticut National Guardsmen prepare to deploy to Afghanistan, another 150 recently have returned from overseas assignments.

A ceremony to welcome home the three units and send off the other was held Tuesday evening at the Gov. William A. O'Neill Armory in Hartford.

"This is an opportunity to thank each and every Guardsmen — and their families — for a job well done over the last year," the leader of the Connecticut National Guard, Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, said in a statement. "Our returning Guardsmen have so much to be proud of. Their exceptional dedication to duty and country once again raised the bar and set a new standard for those following in their footsteps. I couldn't be happier to have them safely back in state."

Gov. Ned Lamont also issued a statement, saying, "the men and women of the Connecticut National Guard have certainly been active and we could not be more proud of the service they are providing our nation."

"They are extraordinary ambassadors for Connecticut and the United States, and it is with gratitude that we celebrate their accomplishments and thank them and their families for everything they have given our state and country," Lamont said.

The three returning units — the aviation maintenance unit based in Groton, an engineering battalion out of Stratford and the Guard's relatively new aerial medical evacuation unit based in Windsor Locks — got back from tours throughout Southwest Asia, which encompasses the Middle East excluding Egypt, within the last 90 days.

About 50 Guardsmen from the 2/104th Aviation Detachment are set to leave Connecticut in the coming weeks. Piloting, crewing and maintaining the CH-47F Chinook helicopter, the deploying guardsmen will be responsible for air patrols in addition to supporting search and rescue missions and other air assault-related activities.

With the deployment of the detachment, the number of Connecticut Guardsmen deployed overseas will exceed 200. In addition to Southwest Asia, guardsmen also are deployed in Romania and Cuba.

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