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    New York Army National Guard Soldiers return from Kuwait/ Iraq

    New York Army National Guard Soldiers return from Kuwait/ Iraq

    Photo By Capt. Jean Marie Kratzer | New York Army National Guard Soldiers attached to the 1156th Engineer Company, pose...... read more read more

    NEW WINDSOR, NY, UNITED STATES

    09.01.2017

    Story by Capt. Jean Marie Kratzer 

    New York National Guard

    NEWBURGH, N.Y. -- One hundred and fifty New York Army National Guard Soldiers from the 1156th Engineer Company are back in New York after serving in Kuwait and Iraq for 9 months.

    The Kingston based company, which specializes in building and repairing structures, supported U.S. forces in the region.

    A welcome ceremony for the soldiers, families and supporters was held at Stewart Airport on August 31, 2017.

    William Straite, a Utica resident, said he was looking forward to seeing his son Sgt. Brandon Straite.

    “My son left here a kid when we put him on a plane 9 months ago. Every day we worried about him, but today my son will come home a man,” Straite said.

    “We could not be more proud of my son and his unit. During the deployment he had strong support from his command team and we are honored to have him home safe,” Straite added.

    The engineers, while primarily based in Kuwait, routinely deployed forward across the Central Command area of operations for mission projects.

    The unit completed an estimated 50 engineer projects for Central Command, including 168 engineer work orders to improve military facilities in Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan and Syria, according to 1st Lt. William Hayes, the executive officer for the 1156th Engineers.

    "We worked in tactical assembly areas and patrol bases outside of Mosul," Hayes said, including work on "construction of never-before-tested bridging techniques that would support missions out (in) west (ern Iraq)."

    The engineers work, spanned from construction and maintenance of garrison facilities to improving housing systems at combat outposts and improving troop shelters.

    In Taji, Iraq, for example, the engineers partnered with the Iraqi army in a joint project to construct guard towers, Hayes said. In Baghdad and Irbil, engineers also enhanced force protection facilities and provided work for lifestyle upgrades to improve the safety and quality of deployed service members.

    “Our deployment was both a challenge and an incredibly rewarding experience,” said Sgt. Gerald Edwards. We had the opportunity to learn a lot about each other as a unit but also work together as a team.”

    The 1156th Engineer Company is based at Camp Smith Training Site and Kingston and is part of the New York Army National Guard’s 204th Engineer Battalion which is headquartered in Binghamton and also has elements in Walton, Horseheads and Buffalo.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 09.01.2017
    Date Posted: 09.01.2017 19:00
    Story ID: 246951
    Location: NEW WINDSOR, NY, US 

    Web Views: 165
    Downloads: 0
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