484th Expctd Back In Montana Saturday
By Jim Orr Courier Publisher
Published: Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
Afghanistan behind them, the Montana Army National Guard’s 484th Military Police Co. is back on American soil.
Next stop: Big Sky State.
Exactly when the local troops land in Billings after a charter flight from Fort Bliss, Texas, is uncertain, but some 484th family members told The Courier on Tuesday that they've been advised it's looking like 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
“This is such great news,” Linda Sundby, a Montana National Guard Family Assistance Center specialist in Glasgow told 484th family members last Thursday in an email disclosing the much-awaited plans. “ ... I don’t think I really need to say this, but have a wonderful evening.”
Five days later, the 484th's anticipated return remained late Saturday morning – but tentatively so.
“Please keep in mind that things can and usually do change,” Sundby said of such military functions. “As I have stated previously, I would plan on being at the (Billings) airport earlier so you don't miss the flight (arrival). Charter flights can be early or late; you just don't know. Also be aware that if there are any medical issues, your service member could be held up in Texas.”
One hundred twenty members of the 484th, which is headquartered in Malta and includes members from the Glasgow area, arrived safely in Fort Bliss to continue their demobilization process, the Guard announced Thursday. They were expected to complete demobilization for 10 to 14 days. This Saturday would be Day 10.
The troops supported a mission to train Afghanistan national police for Operation Enduring Freedom starting in June 2012.
“We are very excited to have the soldiers of the 484th Military Police Company safely back in the U.S. from deployment to Afghanistan,” said Maj. Gen. Matt Quinn, adjutant general for the Montana National Guard. “These soldiers have done an outstanding job over the past nine months, and we are extremely proud of them. Our priority now is returning them to their families and employers back in Montana, who have supported them so well.”
On Tuesday, more good news came for Montana National Guard families with word that 81 members of the Miles City-based 260th Engineer Co. had returned to Fort Bliss from Afghanistan. They too faced 10 to 14 days of demobilization before coming home.
The 260th supported a route clearance mission starting in June 2012.
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