Approximately 220 members of the Kansas National Guard will be welcomed home from duty in Iraq during a ceremony on Friday, Sept. 14.
The 11 a.m. ceremony will take place at Landon Arena, Kansas Expocentre, One Expocentre Drive, Topeka.
Doors will be open to the public at 9:30 a.m. The public is invited to come and show their support for these soldiers.
The soldiers are members of the 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation Regiment which deployed in April 2006 to their mobilization station at Fort Hood, Texas.
In September 2006 the unit deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Their mission was battlefield circulation of troops and supplies, combat air assault, and the daily air movement of VIP's and dignitaries.
“The work this unit has performed has been critical in Iraq and they and their families can be proud of their service and sacrifice,” said Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, Kansas Adjutant General.
“This unit will bring with it 15 UH-60 helicopters, although not all of them will be available to us for use immediately, but it will improve our state’s ability to respond to local disasters and help others in a crisis where Blackhawks might be needed,” Bunting added.
Brig. Gen. Jonathan Small, the Assistant Adjutant General - Army, and commander of the Kansas Army National Guard, and family and friends will be on hand to welcome the soldiers home.
Col. Alan Soldan is the battalion commander and Command Sgt. Maj. Glenn Peterson is the battalion command sergeant major.
The 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation, headquartered in Topeka with companies in Topeka and Salina, Austin, Texas, and Boone, Iowa, is an air assault helicopter unit, flying UH-60 Black Hawks.
The American Legion Riders and Patriot Guard Riders will escort the unit to the Expocentre.