Around 50 soldiers with the Iowa Army National Guard are returning home today after a nearly year-long deployment to Afghanistan. The soldiers are with the 2211th General Support Aviation Battalion based in Waterloo.
Master Sergeant Duff McFadden with the Iowa Guard says the unit performed medical evacuations with Blackhawk helicopters. In addition, the Iowa soldiers trained Italian, Lithuanian, and Spanish soldiers. “During their time in Afghanistan, they trained more than 750 International Security Assistance Forces personnel on medical evacuations and procedures,” McFadden says.
The Iowa troops proved to be extremely reliable as McFadden says the unit never missed a mission due to weather or aircraft problems. The soldiers are experienced too. Many of them were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan back in 2008.
During their just completed Afghanistan deployment, the unit flew more than 3,200 combat hours and conducted more than 650 medical evacuation and training missions. A homecoming ceremony for 2211th is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the Army Aviation Support Facility #2, 2245 West Big Rock Road in Waterloo.