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News: Mississippi unit returns in time for Thanksgiving

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Mississippi unit returns in time for Thanksgiving Staff Sgt. Kenneth Hatten

Brig. Gen. Robert Thomas, commanding general of the 66 Troop Command, welcomes the soldiers of the 1-204th Air Defense Artillery Battalion home to Mississippi after their successful deployment to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn.

CAMP SHELBY, Miss - Elements of the Mississippi National Guard’s 1-204th Air Defense Artillery Battalion, headquartered in Newton, Miss., were welcomed home, Nov. 23, at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center.

“We’re releasing approximately 70 soldiers today in coordination with the Camp Shelby Mobilization Operations Center, so that we can send them home with their families in time for Thanksgiving,” said Maj. Madison Kelly, chaplain. “Our guys have traveled a long way in the last 18 hours, and we really appreciate the support we received from the Camp Shelby MOC in making this happen.”

Battalion commander Lt. Col. Don Ashapanek said that the unit did a fantastic job in support of Operation New Dawn, providing force protection, counter-rocket, artillery and mortar missions and supporting the Iraq troop withdrawal.

“With pre-mobilization, our deployment lasted approximately seven months, and our guys not only provided C-RAM force protection, saving thousands of lives on more than 16 FOBs (forward operating bases), but they also supported the largest drawdown of forces in U.S. Forces-Iraq history,” said Ashapanek.

The returning soldiers were released after a short holiday safety briefing so that they could return home with their loved ones for the Thanksgiving holiday, and are scheduled to begin the demobilization process, Monday, Nov. 28, at Camp Shelby.
Story by Staff Sgt. Kenny Hatten, Camp Shelby Public Affairs


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This work, Mississippi unit returns in time for Thanksgiving, by SSG LaTasha Williams, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:11.23.2011

Date Posted:11.23.2011 11:30

Location:HATTIESBURG, MS, USGlobe

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