After their yearlong mobilization in support of Operation New Dawn, the deployed members of Montana’s 1-163rd Cavalry Regiment, a subordinate unit of the 116th Heavy Brigade Combat Team (116th HBCT), are scheduled to return to the U.S. beginning later this month.
Deployed Army National Guardsmen of the 116th HBCT include about 2,600 Citizen Soldiers from Idaho, Montana and Oregon, with approximately 1,400 from Idaho, 600 from Montana and 600 from Oregon.
The Soldiers will return from Iraq in groups of 200-300. The first charter flights are expected to arrive at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (also known as JBLM, near Tacoma, WA) at the end of August and lasting several weeks until all soldiers are back in the country. The demobilization and out-processing will take approximately two weeks per soldier. The Montana Soldiers will then return to their homes in small groups or individually, flying to local airports around Montana.
“I’m very proud of the Soldiers of the 1-163rd. Their mission was demanding and they performed it as professionals and with distinction,” said Montana Adjutant General, Brigadier General John Walsh. “The men and women of the 1-163rd Cavalry Regiment are evidence that this state continues to provide the most dedicated and best trained soldiers when called upon. We celebrate their safe return to Montana and to their families.”
Montana Soldiers should be returning to Montana during September after completing their demobilization and out processing at JBLM. The Montana Soldiers departed Montana in September of 2010 for their mobilization station in Camp Shelby, Mississippi. They arrived in Iraq in November.