St. Cloud-based Minnesota National Guard aviators are returning to Minnesota on Saturday from a nearly year-long deployment to Kuwait and Iraq.
The almost 60 soldiers are from B Company, 1st General Support Aviation Battalion, 171st Aviation Regiment based in St. Cloud. The unit was deployed in February 2021 and supported Operations Inherent Resolve and Spartan Shield, according to the National Guard.
The unit assisted aerial movement of troops, supplies and equipment; combat support and combat service support operations, according to the Guard. The unit flies CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters which can transport personnel and equipment.
The unit was also deployed in 2006 to support Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2011 to support Operation New Dawn and 2016 for Operation Enduring Freedom.
“After being overseas for as long as we were, it feels great to be back in the United States,” said unit Commander Vincent Gonsior in a news release.
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