Nearly 300 Soldiers from Wisconsin Army National Guard's 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team will return to Wisconsin Tuesday (Jan. 12) from Iraq following a year-long deployment.
Tuesday's flight will include additional members of the 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Eau Claire and Abbotsford; Company B, New Richmond and Rice Lake; and Company D, River Falls.
These Soldiers are the third wave of 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team troops returning from Iraq. The entire brigade will return to Wisconsin in stages throughout January. All are scheduled to return to Volk Field where they will be met by senior National Guard officials, a military band and family members -- homecomings are not open to the general public.
Following an initial reunion with their families and a brief official "welcome home" ceremony, Soldiers will travel to nearby Fort McCoy to begin about five days of demobilization processing before being released from active duty.
During training and while in Iraq, the brigade was organized into 27 company-sized units.
Rather than operating as a brigade, the 32nd was tasked with a variety of missions throughout Iraq. These missions included forward operating base administration, base defense, area security, quick reaction forces, freedom of movement security support, detainee guard force operations at theater internment facilities, closing the largest internment facility in Iraq, transferring detainees, operating an academy to train Iraqi corrections officers, inspecting detention facilities, securing and administering the International Zone in Baghdad, and turning over U.S.-controlled properties back the government of Iraq.
The brigade's Soldiers operated around the clock, most of them working at least 12 hours a day -- day after day, week after week, for eight full months in Iraq.
Having accomplished their mission, each company began transferring responsibilities to units from the Texas National Guard's 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team at the end of December and will continue to do so as they prepare to return to Wisconsin in January.
For a detailed account of the 32nd Brigade's deployment visit: http://dma.wi.gov/deployment )