News: Alaska Guardsmen return from Guantanamo Bay deployment
Story by Sgt. Edward Eagerton
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - A platoon of approximately 30 military policemen with the Alaska Army National Guard’s 297th Military Police Company, 761st Battalion are scheduled to return to Alaska Friday after an 11-month deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The Guardsmen deployed last September to Guantanamo Bay in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as part of Joint Task Force-GTMO Joint Detention Group.
“I am extremely proud of the Soldiers’ performance on this mission,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Shawn McLeod, noncommissioned officer in charge of the 761st Battalion.
Their mission was to conduct safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detainees, including those convicted by military commission. For the returning platoon, their primary mission during the deployment was providing area security at the facility.
“The platoon from the 297th had a very unique mission in performing area security,” said McLeod. “This required them to spend 12-hour shifts working in harsh weather conditions. They have performed exceptionally well and have received accolades on their outstanding efforts.”
The platoon departed Cuba last week for Fort Bliss, Texas. After going through the demobilization processes there, the Guardsmen are headed home to various towns in Alaska via commercial airlines.
Another approximately 50 Alaska Army National Guardsmen from the 761st Military Police Battalion are still deployed to Guantanamo Bay and scheduled to return home next month.