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    Year In Review: Another Year of the Guard?

    Headquarters, 86th IBCT Deployment

    Photo By Sgt. Denis Nunez | U.S. Army Soldiers of Headquarters Company, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Mikel Arcovitch 

    172nd Public Affairs Detachment

    Capitol defense, pandemic response, southwestern border mission, federal deployments worldwide, and so much more. The National Guard had another busy year. The Vermont Army National Guard certainly experienced the same.

    The year started out with Soldiers deployed to Washington, D.C. to support defense efforts during the Presidential Inauguration. Meanwhile, back at home in Vermont, Soldiers and Airmen continued support of Vermont’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Vermont Army National Guard also sent our first unit out the door for a federal deployment to Romania. All that in just January.

    By mid-summer Vermont had sent nearly 900 Soldiers to multiple countries across Southwest Asia and Kosovo in addition to Romania.

    During deployments, Vermont Soldiers participated in every phase of the evacuation from Afghanistan. Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry (Mountain), 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, not just Vermonters, served as a security element at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. Soldiers from the very same unit that helped provide security at the airport was also the unit that received evacuees at their first stop out of Afghanistan. In a unique twist of fate, Soldiers from Task Avalanche, as part of their efforts in supporting Afghan evacuee efforts, also consolidated Afghan traveler mail. Much of the mail was sent to Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, where many Afghan travelers waited during their onward movement, and is also a location of hundreds of Vermont Soldiers. Vermont, and the 86th IBCT (MTN), played a critical role in this historic mission from start to finish across the globe.

    Thankfully, as of the writing of this update, Soldiers from Task Force Avalanche have all returned home to celebrate the Holidays with their loved ones, along with the first unit who left VT last January on a deployment to Romania: the 172nd Law Enforcement Detachment. Soldiers from Task Force Iron Gray, which consists mainly of 86th IBCT (MTN) Soldiers from Connecticut, will return by February. That group includes C Troop, 1st Squadron, 172nd Cavalry (MTN), out of Lyndonville, VT and Bravo Company, 572nd Brigade Engineer Battalion.

    Vermont added Austria as a new state partner in 2021, one of only five states in America to have three countries as part of the State Partnership Program (in addition to long-standing relationships with North Macedonia and Senegal). Vermont has a unique history with Austria, mainly through the Army Mountain Warfare School and the National Guard Biathlon program. The mountainous terrain of Austria and the similar skill sets of their Soldiers blends well with that of Vermont Soldiers.

    2021 was another busy year for the Vermont National Guard. Another year that tested our skills in almost every way possible, and we have answered the bell at every turn. Hopefully 2022 will feel a bit more normal for us, Vermont Soldiers, as the lingering thought of deployments and leaving our loved ones will not weigh heavy on our minds. Happy New Year, here’s to a year of hope and change for the better.



    Date Taken: 12.31.2021
    Date Posted: 01.05.2022 05:39
    Story ID: 412215
    Location: CAMP BONDSTEEL, ZZ 

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