Jayapura, 5/1 (Jubi/PNC) – About 280 members of the Guam Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment are slated to arrive on Guam just after midnight tonight. After saying goodbye almost a year ago, families will finally welcome their soldiers home tomorrow night as the first wave of Guardsmen returns from deployment.
This was the Guam National Guard’s largest deployment in history, 600 soldiers left for Afghanistan in early March 2013. 280 of them return to Guam at about 10:45 tomorrow night.
“When the soldiers deplane they’re gonna go straight to their families and have their reunion,” Public Affairs Officer Major Josephine Blas told PNC. “ At the same time our soldiers are going to be unloading their bags and then Customs is gonna be doing their screening and clearing as well as the Department of Agriculture once that’s done once, they’re ready. Then the soldiers will take their bag ,get with their families, and go home.”
Once they land, the soldier’s plane will taxi into the south apron ramp at the AB Won Pat International Airport. Anyone who wants to welcome the soldiers is asked to arrive through the Route 8 entrance at Tiyan, where Airport Police will direct you to the parking area.
“There are gonna be canopies designated by unit so when the soldiers get off the plane we’re going to tell them…go to the canopy marked with your unit letter on it,” Blas explained. “Make the reunion process a little easier.”
Almost all of the CNMI’s deployed Guardsmen will be arriving on Guam as well tomorrow, and are expected to make it to their home island after spending three or four days on Guam.
“There’s 15 out of the 16 Saipan members that were deployed that will be on chalk 1 that’s already been confirmed,” Blas announced. “Then they’ll go through all the same in processing with the rest of the Guam soldiers when they get home before they go back to Saipan.”
Details on the homecoming for the remaining Guardsmen are still being worked out as the demobilization process is still ongoing.
“We’re hoping in the next seven to ten days because as you know they’ve just arrived,” Blas said.
The rear detachment has been calling the family members of soldiers returning to Guam tomorrow. If you’d like to inquire about your soldier’s return you can call the rear detachment office at 735-4661. (Jubi/PNC/Victor Mambor)