Wisconsin Guard Soldiers to be welcomed home from NATO peacekeeping mission
Wisconsin National Guard Public Affairs Office
Approximately 125 Soldiers from the Milwaukee-based Headquarters Company, 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB) and the 32nd Military Police (MP) Company are expected to return to Wisconsin Thursday (Sept. 27) following a year-long deployment in support of NATO peacekeeping missions.
The Soldiers are scheduled to return to the 128th Air Refueling Wing Aircraft Hangar, 1919 East Grange Ave., at Milwaukee’s Gen. Mitchell International Airport at approximately 11:30 a.m. where they will be met by their commander in chief, Gov. Scott Walker, senior National Guard officials, a military band and family members. Homecomings are not open to the general public.
About 230 Soldiers left Wisconsin last fall to support the NATO Kosovo Force, or KFOR, mission. Most served with the 157th MEB as the brigade headquarters for Multinational Battle Group East, also referred to as Task Force Falcon. Others supported the KFOR medevac mission and staffed the headquarters, lift and maintenance units, and supported NATO operations in Bosnia.
The KFOR mission is to maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement in Kosovo. Sometimes this included removing roadblocks, such as one such mission in Rudare.
Task Force Falcon commanded foreign military units from Poland, Turkey, Greece, Armenia, Ukraine and Romania, as well as more than 700 U.S. Soldiers from Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Georgia, Mississippi, North Dakota and Wyoming.
The Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers began transferring their mission to incoming units and returning to their home states in September. Soldiers from two West Bend-based aviation units who were also part of the Kosovo deployment returned to Wisconsin earlier this month.
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EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: News media are welcome to cover the welcome home ceremony Thursday morning, Sept. 27. For access to the 128th Air Refueling Wing base, media representatives must RSVP with Capt. Michelle Baer at 608-242-3053 NO LATER THAN 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 27.
This event is not intended for the general public, so we would appreciate any advance news stories not imply that the general public is invited.
Photos from the ceremony will be available later that day on the Wisconsin National Guard’s Flickr site.
Pertinent information for visitors to the 128th Air Refueling Wing base:
- All visitors attending the homecoming ceremony must have a photo ID in their possession.
- All vehicles are subject to search before being allowed on base.
- The primary parking area is on the south end of the base. A shuttle bus will transport visitors from the south lot to the event hangar location.
- Only essential carry-in containers are authorized. All carry-ins are subject to search.
- Visitors are not allowed to “tour” the base at any time.
- Refreshments will be provided by Operation Homefront and the USO of Milwaukee.