The entirety of the approximately 400 Soldiers of the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry returned safely to the United States Nov. 23 after a year-long mobilization to Afghanistan.
The first wave of approximately 190 “Red Arrow” Soldiers returned to Fort Bliss, Texas Nov. 17, and the remaining nearly 200 Soldiers landed Nov. 23 as the unit completed its mission overseas.
The battalion mobilized to Afghanistan late last year and conducted hundreds of missions as “guardian angels,” providing force protection for countless engagements between advisors from the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB), other coalition forces, contractors, and Afghan troops.
Their fellow Red Arrow brethren from the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry replaced them in Afghanistan.
The 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry became the first National Guard battalion to partner with one of the Army’s security force assistance brigades, and despite its long and illustrious history in combat dating back to the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the Global War on Terrorism, the 127th became the first Red Arrow unit to deploy to Afghanistan when it arrived in theater last winter. The Red Arrow’s previous and numerous deployments since Sept. 11, 2001 had all previously been to Iraq or Kuwait.
Senior Wisconsin Army National Guard leaders were waiting to greet the unit as it arrived in Texas. The Soldiers will complete demobilization requirements at Fort Bliss, before returning to the Badger State, where the Wisconsin National Guard is planning a homecoming ceremony.
The Wisconsin National Guard continues to maintain a high operations tempo with hundreds of Soldiers and Airmen deployed overseas. Red Arrow Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry and remaining Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry are currently deployed to Afghanistan. Nearly 250 Airmen from the 115th Fighter Wing returned from Afghanistan earlier this month, and the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team headquarters along with approximately 160 Soldiers also deployed to Ukraine this fall where it will oversee a group of multinational “partner and advise training teams” — or PATTs — based at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in western Ukraine. In addition, approximately 150 Soldiers from the 829th Engineer Company mobilized for deployment to the Middle East earlier this fall.
The Wisconsin National Guard will announce details of a homecoming ceremony for the returning 127th Soldiers when that information becomes available.