Kansas Natioanl guardsmen of the 1st Battalion 108th Aviation Regiment in a welcome home ceremony Aug. 18, 2012
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A welcome home ceremony, one year in the making, awaited a group of Kansas National Guardsmen at Landon Middle School Saturday morning.
Loved ones cheered and clapped as more than 140 soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation Regiment returned from a year-long deployment to Kuwait.
"These soldiers have done an outstanding job in Kuwait, from the pilots and aircrews that carried out the flight missions to the ground crew that kept the helicopters flying under adverse conditions," Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, state adjutant general, said. "Now they are coming home for a well-deserved rest and we say,'Welcome back!'" he said.
The men and women served in Operation Enduring Freedom, conducting air movement and air assault operations in support of 29th Combat Aviation Brigade and the Deployable Aviation Task Force.
This is the second group of the Black Hawk Helicopter Battalion returning home this month - the first group of 110 soldiers returned to Kansas August 11.
The 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation, headquartered in Topeka, with companies in Topeka, Salina, Austin, Texas, and Hawaii, is an air assault battalion, flying the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.