The homecoming time has been set for some 50 members of an Iowa National Guard unit based in Boone. Iowa National Guard spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Greg Hapgood says the soldiers will be welcomed home Thursday at six p.m. at the Des Moines Area Community College gymnasium on the Boone campus.
Hapgood says members of Company C, second battalion of the 147th aviation have been in Iraq since September of 2006 and provided a variety of support missions to coalition forces. Hapgood says these soldiers have had a key role in the operations in Iraq.
He says they fly and maintain U-H-60 Blackhawk helicopters, and are able to move people in and out of locations, and can also move equipment and evacuate the wounded. The pilots and crews were in the thick of the action, but Hapgood says they’re coming home in one piece.
"The unit was extraordinarily lucky during their deployment, they didn’t have any casualties." Hapgood says. He says they flew nearly eight thousand hours, which he says would normally take an aviator 10 years time to to fly in the Iowa National Guard.
The homecoming ceremony is open to the public. Hapgood says the return of this unit means there will now be approximately 800 Iowa National Guardmembers that’re either deployed, or preparing to deploy to active duty overseas.