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Indiana National Guardsmen return from Kuwait in time for the holidays

Posted at 6:17 PM, Oct 22, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — About 60 Indiana National Guardsmen are back home from Kuwait just in time for the upcoming holidays.

The soldiers, members of the Gary-based Company C, 2-238th General Support Aviation Battalion, were deployed to Kuwait earlier this year to support Operation Spartan Shield and Inherent Resolve.

The mission of Operation Inherent Resolve is to militarily defeat Islamic State groups and increase stability in the region, according to a press release from the Indiana National Guard.

Operation Spartan Shield began in September 2012 and is a multi-service force to maintain a U.S. military posture in the Middle East, according to the release. Those supporting the operation helped with aviation, logistics, protection, information management, key leader engagements, joint exercises, conferences, symposia, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response planning. The operation is ongoing.

"We left premobilization training at Fort Sill with confidence and perseverance," Maj. Kenneth Watkins, commander of Company C, 2-238th General Support Aviation Battalion, said in the press release. "Going overseas we were all spread apart, but we communicated effectively and remained flexible. The soldiers really valued the mission, which lead to ultimate mission success,"

Soldiers were able to conduct training in real-world scenarios when they were not on a mission, according to the release.

"The deployment was certainly dynamic between the Iranian aggression and the global pandemic," Sgt. Kayla Sampson, a flight medic, said in the press release. "These extra challenges offered me the opportunity to train and experience things I wouldn't have had the ability to at home."