Eight Soldiers from the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment returned safely to Wisconsin Jan 19 after a nine-month deployment to U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo in Cuba.
The team of Soldiers from the Madison-based unit returned to Fort Bliss, Texas, after providing public affairs support to Joint Task Force Guantanamo, where it completed several days of demobilization requirements before returning to the Badger State.
Senior Wisconsin Army National Guard leaders, including Brig. Gen. Joane Mathews, the deputy adjutant general for Army and Command Sgt. Maj. Rafael Conde, the Wisconsin National Guard’s senior enlisted advisor, were on hand to greet the unit as it arrived in Texas, and others greeted them as they touched down at locations across Wisconsin.
The unit originally mobilized in March 2018, before departing Wisconsin for Fort Bliss and then Cuba.
The Wisconsin National Guard continues to maintain a high operational tempo with worldwide deployments in support of its federal mission as the primary combat reserve of the Army and Air Force. More than 350 Soldiers from the Milwaukee-based 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery deployed to the Middle East this summer, and nearly 400 Soldiers from the Appleton-headquartered 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry mobilized for deployment to Afghanistan in December. Meanwhile, a nearly 30-Soldier military engagement team from the 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade completed its deployment to the Middle East this month as well.
Nearly 30 Soldiers from the West Bend-based 248th General Aviation Support Battalion returned from a deployment to the Middle East in September. Wisconsin Army National Guard aviators from Detachment 5, 641st Aviation returned from Afghanistan last summer, and approximately 85 Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation returned from a nine-month deployment to the Middle East in January 2018.
The Wisconsin National Guard simultaneously stands ready to complete its state mission of assisting civil authorities during times of emergency as the state’s first military responder. Black Hawk medevac crews deployed to North Carolina to assist civil authorities there in the wake of Hurricane Florence this fall, and hundreds of Guardsmen assisted with sandbagging efforts after torrential rains soaked southern Wisconsin in August and September.