SLIGHT DELAY IN FLIGHT ARRIVAL – 12:15 A.M. (Sunday morning)
WHO: GUAM ARMY NATIONAL GUARD 1-294th INFANTRY REGIMENT
WHAT: ARRIVAL OF CHALK 1 – HEROES WELCOME
WHERE: GIAA SOUTH RAMP APRON, TIYAN
NEAR THE UNITED AIRLINES HANGAR
WHEN: SUNDAY, JANUARY 5, 2014, 12:15 A.M.
About 280 members of the Guam Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment are slated to arrive on Guam just after midnight tonight.
Guam – After saying goodbye almost a year ago, families will finally welcome their soldiers home tomorrow night as the first wave of Guardsmen returns from deployment.
This was the Guam National Guard’s largest deployment in history, 600 soldiers left for Afghanistan in early March 2013. 280 of them return to Guam at about 10:45 tomorrow night.
“When the soldiers deplane they’re gonna go straight to their families and have their reunion,” Public Affairs Officer Major Josephine Blas told PNC. “ At the same time our soldiers are going to be unloading their bags and then Customs is gonna be doing their screening and clearing as well as the Department of Agriculture once that’s done once, they’re ready. Then the soldiers will take their bag ,get with their families, and go home.”
Once they land, the soldier’s plane will taxi into the south apron ramp at the AB Won Pat International Airport. Anyone who wants to welcome the soldiers is asked to arrive through the Route 8 entrance at Tiyan, where Airport Police will direct you to the parking area.
“There are gonna be canopies designated by unit so when the soldiers get off the plane we’re going to tell them…go to the canopy marked with your unit letter on it,” Blas explained. “Make the reunion process a little easier.”
Almost all of the CNMI’s deployed Guardsmen will be arriving on Guam as well tomorrow, and are expected to make it to their home island after spending three or four days on Guam.
“There’s 15 out of the 16 Saipan members that were deployed that will be on chalk 1 that’s already been confirmed,” Blas announced. “Then they’ll go through all the same in processing with the rest of the Guam soldiers when they get home before they go back to Saipan.”
Details on the homecoming for the remaining Guardsmen are still being worked out as the demobilization process is still ongoing.
“We’re hoping in the next seven to ten days because as you know they’ve just arrived,” Blas said.
The rear detachment has been calling the family members of soldiers returning to Guam tomorrow. If you’d like to inquire about your soldier’s return you can call the rear detachment office at 735-4661.
[Close to 150 Task Force Guam soldiers from 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment, Guam Army National Guard, departed North Kaia, Kabul, Afghanistan Dec. 28 and represented the last of nearly 600 that completed a historic Operation Enduring Freedom right after Christmas Day. The flight crew of this C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft honored the Soldiers by draping the Guam flag above them. Front row: Spc. Steven Quinata, Staff Sgt. Rodney Retuyan, Spc. Anthony Cruz, Spc. Michael Brown and Spc. Michael Manley. This marks the first time Guam sent a battalion-sized element to a military operation, accounting for about half of the Guam Army National Guard’s total strength. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Eddie Siguenza/Released)]
READ the release from the Guam Guard below:
About 280 members of the Guam Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment are slated to arrive on Guam tomorrow night.
The battalion was mobilized in August 2012 for deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan. The unit left Guam in March of last year for Camp Shelby, MS, where they completed pre-mobilization training prior to arriving in theatre.
Task Force Guam, which is the largest group of reserve component troops to be mobilized and deployed from Guam, provided a vital security force mission. The nearly 600 Soldiers, spread out in 7 units were located at key locations throughout Afghanistan.
For the arrival and to ease the reunion between returning Soldiers and their families member, there will be canopies set up and designated by the Soldiers’ unit. Family members are encouraged to find their respective canopy to wait for their Soldier.
Please note that this is an outdoor event, is very windy at time and there is no covered areas and seating so family members and the public should plan accordingly.
For information on the arrival or to find out if your Soldier is on that plane, they can contact the Battalion’s Rear Detachment at 735-4661.