Gov, Adjutant General Announce Return of Det. 42
Gov. John Hoeven and Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota National Guard adjutant
BISMARCK, N.D. - Gov. John Hoeven and Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota National Guard adjutant general, announced today that National Guard Soldiers with Detachment 42 (Det. 42), Operational Support Airlift currently serving in Djibouti, will return next month. The group is expected to arrive at Fort Benning, Ga., to begin the demobilization process by mid-February and then return to North Dakota.
"We are proud to announce the return of a second group of Soldiers who has spent the last several months successfully completing their mission and honorably representing their state and nation in Africa," Hoeven said. "In addition to supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in both Africa and Afghanistan, this specialized unit also has a proud history of serving here at home, providing valuable assistance during last year's flood fight. We look forward to welcoming home the members of Det. 42 and recognizing them and their families for their distinguished service."
Det. 42, currently serving in the Djibouti Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa was mobilized in March 2009. The Det. 42 consists of 8 Soldiers and is commanded by CW4 Travis Bridwell. Sgt. 1st Class John Zacher is the unit's senior enlisted Soldier.
"These Soldiers have been performing an invaluable mission with marked professionalism and skill," Sprynczynatyk said. "Their dedication to duty and noted North Dakota work ethic is something of which we can all be proud. I'm also grateful to the families and employers of these Soldiers. Their sacrifices have not gone unnoticed during the past year, and it's a true pleasure to be here and share this news with them today."
This small but highly specialized aviation unit operates one C-12 Huron aircraft while stateside but operated two C-12 aircraft during this deployment. Their mission is to provide short-notice fixed-wing transportation for personnel and cargo within their area of operations. Det. 42 is one of forty-two C-12 detachments nationwide assigned to various state National Guard units.
In addition to today's Det. 42 redeployment announcement and the recognition of their Family members, local Families of the Grand Forks-based 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment's RAID III (Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment) were also thanked for their support and sacrifice. The RAID III return was initially announced last week in Grand Forks by Hoeven and Sprynczynatyk. The RAID III mobilized in January 2009.
Gov. Hoeven and Maj. Gen. Sprynczynatyk also thanked members of the North Dakota Patriot Guard for their continued support on behalf of North Dakota military service members.
The North Dakota National Guard Public Affairs Office will keep the public informed of both unit's return schedule. A formal welcome home, called the Freedom Salute, takes place about three months after units return from deployment.
Since the 2001 terrorist attacks on America, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 3,500 Soldiers and more than 1,800 Airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Currently, about 800 North Dakota Guardsmen are serving overseas. With a total force of about 4,400 Soldiers and Airmen, sufficient forces remain in the state for emergency response and homeland defense.