NCNG unit returns from deployment in Southwest Asia

Soldiers of the North Carolina National Guard’s 2-130th Airfield Operations Battalion, based at Simmons Army Airfield, Fort Bragg, held their demobilization ceremony, at the NCNG’s Joint Force Headquarters auditorium, Nov. 16.


N.C. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Army Brig. Gen. James Ernst, assistant adjutant general – maneuver, other NCNG leaders, friends, family and supporters gathered to honor the soldiers for their deployment to Kuwait, Jordan and Afghanistan.

“It is important for the community to know how our men and women serve,” said Forest.

The unit’s 60 soldiers conducted ground approach radar and air traffic control operations supporting more than 80,000 flights of U.S. and allied aircraft at airfields across Southwest Asia.

“You are extraordinary individuals, you have a lot to be proud of,” said Ernst.

The ceremony followed a familiar script of the NCNG’s more than 12 years of wartime service. The crowd filled the auditorium with applause and cheers as their soldiers marched in. Prayers offered thanks for their safe return. Leaders commended the soldiers for their wartime service.

“The North Carolina National Guard has proven it can mobilize on order anywhere on the globe in the best traditions of the citizen-soldier,” said Forest.

The ceremony is part of Yellow Ribbon Program to reintegrate the soldiers and their families after deployment. Counselors, multiple programs and other support services are available to the soldiers and their families after the deployment.

“God bless our families, they sacrifice so much,” said Army Lt. Col. Brett Russ, the unit’s commander.

The unit’s soldiers left home for Operation Enduring Freedom in October 2012. After completing training at Fort Hood, Texas, they deployed to Southwest Asia in December 2012.

While deployed thousands of miles from home churches, schools and civic organizations provided care packages for the soldiers.

“Everyone tried to help out,” said Natasha Lebeau, wife of Army Sgt. Dave Lebeau, a leader with the battalion.



Contact: Capt. Rick Scoggins
Phone: (919) 664-6308

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