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Photo Gallery | Arkansas Guard welcomes troops home in time for Thanksgiving

~ 77th Aviation Brigade headquarters returns home early from Iraq

CAMP ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ark. - The majority of the Arkansas National Guard's 77th Theater Aviation Brigade Headquarters returned home this morning after an early end to their Operation New Dawn deployment in Iraq.

The unit’s 125 Soldiers initially departed the state on February 17, 2011, slated for a 12-month mobilization.  Now as our nation is witnessing the end of operations in Iraq, 80 of those troops found themselves coming home three months early and just in time for Thanksgiving.

The unit initially returned to the United States via Fort Hood, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 19, where they have been conducting mobilization out-processing.  Several of the unit members remain at Fort Hood over the next 30 days awaiting the return of the final 25 from Iraq as they work to close down their operations there.

During their deployment, the unit served in Tallil, Iraq with the mission to provide corps-level command and control for all aviation assets under the Unites States Division – South (USD-S).

Another 60 Soldiers and Airmen are slated to return home on Thanksgiving Day, with the return of the Arkansas National Guard’s second Agriculture Development Team.  The ADT also returned to the United States Saturday, yet have conducted their out-processing at Camp Atterbury, Ind.  The team returns tomorrow morning following an 11-month tour of duty working with farmers in southern Afghanistan in hopes of helping to grow the agricultural economy in the region.

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