Guam – With tears, and open arms, family and friends welcomed home 280 members of “Task Force Guam” who landed at the A.B. Won Pat International Airport early Sunday morning.
Many carried signs welcoming individual soldiers by name, thanking them for their service. Cheers erupted as the Guard members stepped off the plane, and rushed to greet their loved ones.
The chartered Omni Air International flight touched down about 12:15am carrying the 1st wave of the nearly 600 Guam Guard members who left the island last February and spent nearly 10 months in Afghanistan in support of “Operation Enduring Freedom”. They were spread out in seven units during their time in Afghanistan.
Governor Eddie Calvo and Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio went aboard the aircraft before the soldiers disembarked and spent a few minutes with them to welcome them back individually. The Governor called it a “happy day for Guam” and said “we are blessed by their selfless sacrifice. I’m honored to welcome them home, and I’m thankful for their safe return.”
This was the largest ever deployment of troops from Guam and there are still over 300 members of the Guam Guard’s 1-294th Infantry Regiment under going demobilization at Fort Shelby in Mississippi. They are expected to be back on island within the coming weeks.
READ the release from the Governor’s Office below:
“This is a happy day for Guam. We welcome home our heroes. We are blessed by their selfless sacrifice. I’m honored to welcome them home, and I’m thankful for their safe return.” – Governor Eddie Baza Calvo
280 members of GUARNG Return Home
There were tears of joy and warm embraces at the Guam International Airport Authority tarmac this evening. 280 Guardsmen and Guardswomen of the Guam Army National Guard Guard’s 1-294th Infantry Regiment landed at the commercial airport after nine months of deployment. They were part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
“These Guardsmen and Guardswomen demonstrate the patriotism of the Guamanian Family. It lives in the hearts of our people. This is a proud day for Guam – this is a proud day for America.” – Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio
Largest Group from Guam Deployed
This is the largest deployment of troops to be mobilized on Guam. 600 uniformed men and women left their families and their jobs to defend our country. They were spread out in seven units located throughout Afghanistan.
Troops will be returning in phases
This is the first wave of returns of the deployed troops. Other Guardsmen and Guardswomen will be returning pending demobilization activities and new orders.