CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait — Last year the 1st Squadron, 180th Cavalry, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team was preparing for a deployment to Afghanistan, but at the last minute it was switched to Kuwait and the rest is now history.
The Oklahoma National Guard unit cased their colors during a flag casing ceremony, Monday, March 12, at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.
The casing of the unit’s colors symbolizes the completion of missions conducted in support of Operation New Dawn. The 1-180th participated in the successful drawdown of US forces from Iraq.
When the unit was notified they would not be joining their fellow Oklahoma Guardsman in Afghanistan, many were not pleased.
“You don’t choose the missions, you complete them,” said Lt. Col. Chris Chomosh.
“Were our soldiers excited about coming to Kuwait? Not initially. However we did complete the mission,” said 1st Lt. John Tipsword of Edmund, Okla.
The 1-180th certainly showed its versatility on the deployment, conducting training in urban operations while simultaneously conducting military convoy escort missions to Iraq.
The unit is proud of what they built at Camp Buehring. The unit set standards, meaning that any unit could seamlessly transition into any of duties the 1-180th performed.
Now that the mission has ended, these soldiers can focus their attention on heading home.
“They’re going to be looking forward to reconnecting with their families,” said Tipsword.
This mission is another chapter in the impressive record of service for the 1-180th over the last decade.
In October of 2002, the unit deployed to the Sinai Peninsula to the Multinational Forces and Observers mission. Less than four years later, the unit was mobilized for service in Afghanistan in March of 2006, and Iraq in September of 2007.
The 1-180th also assisted with the Hurricane Katrina disaster of 2005.
The unit will return to their home station of Durant, Okla., after demobilizing at Camp Shelby, Miss.