Guard soldiers return home

About 100 Nevada Army Guard soldiers from Company D, 113th Aviation Company will arrive home to Northern Nevada at 11 a.m. Saturday after a year-long tour supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. The welcome home will take place at the Stead Army Aviation Support Facility at 20000 Army Aviation Drive. The unit deployed in January 2005 to Fort Sill, Okla. and then to Afghanistan in March 2005.

While the unit is flying to Reno aboard commercial carriers, upon landing, the soldiers will immediately travel by bus to Stead to meet with family members for the welcome home ceremony.

On behalf of the Nevada National Guard's commander-in-chief, Gov. Kenny Guinn, Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt will address the returning soldiers and their families. Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., will also be on hand to address the unit.

The Battle Born soldiers joined troops from the Oregon and Washington National Guard flying twin-rotor, heavy-duty CH-47 Chinook helicopters based out of Kandahar.

The 113th specializes in air assault infiltrations and exfiltrations and is capable of search and rescue missions as well as combatant evacuations.

Of the eight aircraft the unit took to Afghanistan, seven will return to Nevada later this spring, one was destroyed as a combat loss.

The unit also performed humanitarian aid missions following the large Pakistani earthquake in October.

The 113th lost five soldiers in combat, including Northern Nevadans Chief Warrant Officer John Flynn and Sgt. Patrick Stewart, when their helicopter was shot down by hostile fire Sept. 25 southwest of Deh Chopan, Afghanistan.


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