National Guard members

Hundreds of West Virginia National Guard members and their loved ones attend a ceremony at the guard's deployment.

BLUEFIELD — All members of the 1st Squadron 150th Cavalry Regiment of the West Virginia Army National Guard (WVNG), including those based at the Brushfork Armory, will be home this week after a deployment to the Middle East in August 2019.

Maj. Holli Nelson, state public affairs officer with the WVNG, said Monday 150 members were welcomed back Saturday and about 15 more members will return this week.

“We have had two big homecomings for that unit,” she said, with more than 350 returning in August and the 150 who were welcomed back Saturday.

The soldiers had been serving in Kuwait in support of Operation Spartan Shield.

Nelson said in August 2019 when the deployment started the troops were from units around the state but the exact numbers from each location cannot be released. Brushfork Armory is home to the local unit of the 1-150th.

Gov. Jim Justice said Monday he welcomed them all back and “all came back safely.”

Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, WSNG Adjutant General, said Monday he was glad to see the balance of the 1-150th return.

“We are excited to have them home and be with their families,” he said. “And that will close out that regiment’s deployment.”

Sen. Joe Manchin released a video Saturday welcoming the soldiers back, telling them: “As former Governor of the Mountain State, the greatest honor of my life was serving as Commander in Chief of the best National Guard in the nation,” he said. “West Virginians have helped keep America safe for generations, and I am so proud to see you all carrying on that legacy. I’m thankful to see you all home safe from your deployment as you sacrifice to keep your fellow West Virginians and Americans safe. Welcome home.”

Nelson said in August 2019 that troops located across West Virginia in Bluefield, Holden, Salem, Red House, and Glen Jean would participate and additional portions of the 1-150th are assigned to the North Carolina National Guard.

These 500-plus deploying soldiers will be joining forces with additional soldiers from Ohio, North Carolina, and South Carolina, combining to create the 30th Armored Brigade Team, which will consist of 4,200 soldiers in total, she said.

All units of this team traveled to Ft. Bliss, Texas and spent the next 40-60 days making final preparations for their deployment to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield. Their mission was to sustain theater readiness to conduct unified land operations and to support partner nations in making the region safer.

Contact Charles Boothe at cboothe@bdtonline.com

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