“Yesterday, the final of our service members in Afghanistan began their journey dwelling. Our Nationwide Guard assist to the navy mission in Afghanistan is now full. The previous 20 years haven’t been a simple chapter in our nation’s historical past, nor has it been with out setbacks and sacrifices …
“We’re eternally grateful to the women and men who served in Afghanistan, and the households who supported them. We are going to proceed to proudly put on the fabric of our nation, and bear in mind the heroism and sacrifices made by so many, together with our Gold Star households.
“Greater than a era of Individuals fought so our nation wouldn’t stay in worry. We fought to carry hope and freedom to the folks of Afghanistan. We fought to uphold our nation’s values and our American lifestyle. We didn’t select these battles, however we fought all of them the identical. And we by no means overpassed our responsibility as Citizen Troopers and Airmen.” — Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, Nationwide Guard Bureau chief, Aug. 31, 2021.
With the Wisconsin Air Nationwide Guard’s Volk Subject having served within the closing chapter of america’ involvement in Afghanistan as a transit heart for plane bringing Afghan evacuees to Fort McCoy, it’s value trying again on the Wisconsin Nationwide Guard’s involvement within the nation’s longest warfare.
Sept. 11, 2001
It didn’t take lengthy for the Wisconsin Nationwide Guard to become involved in what would develop into the World Battle on Terror, after the terrorist group Al Qaeda flew industrial airliners into the World Commerce Middle twin towers and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, in addition to crashing one other airliner close to Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The Taliban allowed Al Qaeda to function out of Afghanistan.
“The day of Sept. 11 we had been contacted by 1st Air Drive and requested to get some plane and air crews on alert,” stated retired Brig. Gen. Gary Ebben, who was vice-commander of the Madison-based one hundred and fifteenth Fighter Wing on the time. “The unit hadn’t pulled alert for the reason that early ‘70s within the F-102. By that night, plane had been being loaded with munitions that had been transported from Volk Subject. Standing on the flight line that night was surprisingly eerie with the skies quiet, however primarily fight operations underway as no person knew the extent of what would possibly occur.”
Ebben stated the fighter wing had contingency plans for arming plane with fight munitions, however within the context of coming into a overseas theater of operations.
“I don’t assume anybody ever envisioned getting used within the protection of the homeland,” Ebben stated.
Volunteers from the Milwaukee-based 128th Air Refueling Wing carried out three federal missions as early as Sept. 12, 2001, refueling fighter jets on patrol in assist of what would develop into Operation Noble Eagle. By Sept. 20, extra volunteers deployed to Moron Air Base in Spain and different places, as a part of expeditionary fight assist.
Oct. 7, 2001: US begins operations in Afghanistan
In October, 12 members of the Richland Middle-based 829th Engineer Detachment would deploy to Afghanistan, the place Operation Enduring Freedom had already begun. They might enhance and keep amenities, principally at Kandahar, Afghanistan, for U.S. forces there.
Dec. 21, 2001: Interim Afghan authorities is sworn in
April 17, 2002: President George W. Bush declares plan to rebuild Afghanistan
Two Wisconsin Nationwide Guard models — the Monroe-based sixty fourth Rear Operations Middle and the Oshkosh-based 1157th Transportation Firm — mobilized in September 2002 for missions at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, although parts of every unit would additionally head over to Afghanistan throughout their deployment. In December, 28 members of the Berlin-based 332nd Rear Space Operations Middle mobilized for a deployment to Bagram, Afghanistan the place they managed safety and logistical points for rear-area bases.
Might 1, 2003: Protection Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declares an finish to main fight in Afghanistan and a shift to stability and reconstruction efforts
At this level, whereas extra Wisconsin Nationwide Guard models had been mobilizing to assist Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Wisconsin Nationwide Guard continued its work in Afghanistan.
In June 2004, 11 Wisconsin Military Nationwide Guard members assigned to Joint Drive Headquarters mobilized as a part of a Central Corps Help Group. Mixed with 9 Virginia Military Nationwide Guard Troopers, the CCAG would mentor the Afghanistan Nationwide Military’s Central Corps workers in navy ways, procedures and operations. Col. Todd Nehls of the Wisconsin Nationwide Guard — who additionally served because the Dodge County sheriff — would command the CCAG, which fell below Coalition Joint Process Drive Phoenix, itself a coaching and help process power comprised of greater than 1,500 Military Nationwide Guard members from throughout america.
“ETT Process Drive Phoenix on the time was not a doctrinal unit or mission,” stated Maj. Andy Schouten, who deployed individually in 2006 to assist Process Drive Phoenix, and wrote a e book in regards to the expertise, “First to Hearth.” “The mission was to advise the [Afghan National Army] in management, workers assist features, planning, assessing, supporting, and executing operations and coaching.”
2006-08: Because the U.S. focuses on the troop surge in Iraq, the Taliban launch assaults in search of to recapture territory, largely within the south
In January 2006, a second detachment of 16 Wisconsin Military Nationwide Guard Troopers, this time largely from the 57th Subject Artillery Brigade, had been mobilized for service in Afghanistan as a part of Coalition Process Drive Phoenix — once more, a component composed of Troopers from a number of Nationwide Guard organizations. The Wisconsin contingent, led by Col. Dominic Cariello, would practice and advise a brigade-sized component of the Afghan Nationwide Military.
The next month, 30 Troopers within the Madison-based 232nd Army Intelligence Firm deployed to Afghanistan, serving as a component of the tenth Mountain Division. The vast majority of the corporate was stationed at Bagram Air Base, however some Troopers had been positioned at ahead working bases in Kandahar and Salerno. As a part of their mission of intelligence assortment, evaluation and dissemination, the 232nd labored with U.S. and coalition navy forces, the Afghan authorities and U.S. authorities civilian companies.
In Might 2008, one other detachment of 17 Wisconsin Military Nationwide Guard Troopers, principally from the 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, mobilized for service in Afghanistan as a part of Coalition Process Drive Phoenix. Lt. Col. John Passet commanded the duty power, assigned to coach and advise a battalion-sized component of the Afghan Nationwide Military.
In November of that 12 months, the 951st Sapper Firm mobilized for a route clearance mission in an roughly 6,000-square-mile space of duty in Afghanistan. The corporate’s greater command in Afghanistan acknowledged that the 951st carried out probably the most harmful and troublesome missions of any component assigned to Process Drive Pirate. On Oct. 2, 2009 Sgt. Ryan Adams of Rhinelander died in Logar Province from wounds suffered when his patrol was attacked by enemy forces. Seven different firm members had been injured within the assault. Adams can be the primary Wisconsin Nationwide Guard member to be killed in motion in Afghanistan, and up to now is the final Wisconsin Nationwide Guard fatality within the World Battle on Terror.
“He was the mannequin for the [non-commissioned officer],” Capt. Brian Barth, 951st Sapper commander, stated days after Adams was killed. “He challenged folks, no matter rank, to carry out their greatest. Sgt. Adams was a terrific particular person.”
Seventeen Troopers within the 951st acquired the Purple Coronary heart medal for fight accidents, and the corporate acquired the Valorous Unit Award, the second-highest Military unit ornament.
Feb. 17, 2009: President Barack Obama declares plans to ship 17,000 troops to Afghanistan to stabilize the nation
A 16-person embedded coaching group, led by Col. Timothy Lawson and principally consisting of Troopers from Wisconsin’s Joint Drive Headquarters, was the fourth to deploy as a part of Coalition Process Drive Phoenix. This group, which mobilized in March 2009, suggested the Afghanistan Nationwide Police in Harat within the western a part of the nation bordering Iran on management tasks, non-commissioned officer duties and logistics. They had been readily available for the presidential elections in August of that 12 months.
“I used to be biting my nails as much as election day,” Lawson admitted. To make sure an “Afghan face” was current for the elections, Lawson’s troops remained of their compounds whereas the Afghan Nationwide Police, Border Police and the Afghan Nationwide Military offered safety.
Regardless of experiences indicating in any other case, the election noticed greater turnout and fewer violence than anticipated.
“On the finish of the day, it was a victory,” Lawson stated.
2010: Within the spring and summer time, the U.S. troop surge peaks with 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, 20,000 deployed to the south
Six Troopers from the Volk Subject-based Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (TAUS) platoon of the thirty second Infantry Brigade Fight Workforce’s Firm B, Brigade Particular Troops Battalion, mobilized in June 2011 for a deployment to assist U.S. Marines in Afghanistan. They might pilot the RQ-7 Shadow 200 unmanned aerial car, which captures imagery.
Might 1, 2011: Osama bin Laden killed in Pakistan
June 22, 2011: President Obama declares the start of U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Preliminary negotiations with the Taliban start
In July 2011, 4 Wisconsin Military Nationwide Guard feminine Troopers — 1st Lt. April Nelson, Grasp Sgt. Karen Dumke, Sgt. Kristen Elegeert and Sgt. Sonia Buchanan — efficiently accomplished the primary Cultural Help Coaching Course at Fort Bragg. They might be assigned to Particular Forces groups in Afghanistan and would work together with native girls and youngsters on behalf of their group.
Nelson stated that being a girl in uniform made the villagers suspicious, however offering drugs and medical care shortly gained them over.
“At first once we had been there the boys didn’t perceive that we had been Troopers and that our group was making an attempt to speak with them,” Buchanan stated. “They thought we had been concubines. We’re extra of a third-gender sort — they don’t actually perceive classify us. We’re not like their girls, however we’re not a male Soldier. We’re this third entity — a feminine Soldier — which is a brand new idea to them.”
In April 2012 the Wisconsin Nationwide Guard despatched its first agribusiness growth group — a set of Troopers and Airmen with skilled coaching or expertise in varied points of farming — to Afghanistan. The idea originated with the Missouri Nationwide Guard and leveraged the civilian ability units of Nationwide Guard members to revitalize an trade in Afghanistan that also had not totally recovered from the Soviet occupation many years earlier.
The 82nd ADT was remissioned in Might, with the agribusiness specialists changing into a part of the Provincial Reconstruction Workforce Kunar and the rest taking over safety or quick-reaction power missions in Kabul. Thirty-five ADT members returned to Wisconsin in September, whereas the remaining 13 continued to assist construct Kunar Province’s agricultural infrastructure.
The 82nd ADT fostered a partnership between the College of Wisconsin-River Falls and Mentioned Jamaluddin Afghani College, established a man-made insemination heart for livestock, and labored to extend saffron manufacturing whereas slowing the area’s poppy manufacturing. The unit carried out greater than 200 fight patrols and made greater than 500 engagements with key native leaders in 13 of Kunar’s 15 districts. In addition they supported greater than 40 medical evacuations on their ahead working base, and managed greater than $12 million in building initiatives.
The Oshkosh-based 1157th Transportation Firm arrived in Afghanistan in April 2012 to carry out a convoy escort mission. The corporate had initially acquired orders for a mission in Kuwait. The corporate logged greater than 1.8 million miles conducting 128 escort missions on a number of the most harmful roads in northern, jap and central Afghanistan. Troopers within the unit earned 40 fight motion badges and acquired 5 Purple Coronary heart medals.
The 229th Engineer Firm and 106th Engineer Firm mobilized in August 2012 for a deployment to Afghanistan, the place the models would enhance fight mobility in Kandahar Province. The 229th labored with a process power from the 2nd Infantry Division’s 4th Stryker Fight Brigade Workforce in addition to Afghan Nationwide Safety Forces to pave a brand new route via the Taliban heart of mass within the Panjwa’i district. The three.8-kilometer street made it doable for coalition mounted autos to extra simply attain areas the place the Taliban had discovered protected haven.
“It allowed [the 2nd Division] to get in there and kick the Taliban out,” stated Workers Sgt. Eric Klar, a squad chief working bulldozers on new street building initiatives in Afghanistan. “It was very rewarding to assist the infantry get in there with their autos slightly than having to stroll on a regular basis.”
The corporate constructed seven roads and improved roads, helicopter pads and different paved surfaces, discovered and cleared 41 improvised explosive units, expanded ahead working bases and fight outposts, and helped construct persistent surveillance balloon techniques throughout their nine-month deployment.
In October 2012 the Wisconsin Nationwide Guard mobilized, on brief discover, 16 Troopers to type the 104th Safety Drive Advise and Help Workforce, whose mission can be to mentor Afghan Border Police. Right now, coalition forces deliberate to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014.
“That is the subsequent step within the transition of our mission,” stated Lt. Col. David Larson, 104th SFAAT commander. “It’s a step in the precise route, turning the battle over to the Afghans, whereas advising and helping of their transition. Regardless that we’re a small unit, what we do will go a good distance towards attaining nationwide goals in turning over our mission to Afghan forces.”
2013: The U.S. begins closing ahead working bases in Afghanistan
Arriving in Afghanistan in early 2013, the 104th SFAAT operated from a distant outpost inside an Afghan border police base, advising and helping regional border police to enhance their functionality for self-sustained operations to manage and safe the area. The group additionally helped begin two 12-room colleges, a deep water effectively, and distributed college provides — together with 175 desks — to colleges in distant border villages.
“Our relationship with our Afghan counterparts is great,” Larson stated. “They’re like brothers, and we’re educating them lots of necessary processes and ideas that can assist them stand on their very own ft after coalition forces depart Afghanistan in 2014.”
Maj. Michael Hanson, the group’s govt officer, stated the commanding basic of all coalition forces in Afghanistan described the 104th as the most effective SFAAT working within the nation.
“I instructed [our Afghan partners], ‘the way forward for your group could be very vibrant,’” Hanson stated on the unit’s return ceremony Sept. 28. “’You have got some superb younger leaders right here that we had been working with and mentoring.’”
In early 2013, Plymouth-based Battery B, 1st Battalion, 121st Subject Artillery grew to become the primary Military Nationwide Guard unit to supply a fireplace assist mission in Afghanistan. The Excessive Mobility Artillery Rocket System battery supported a joint particular operations process power.
“We needed to be superb at our job supporting the duty power,” stated Sgt. 1st Class John Lemke, a platoon sergeant with Battery B who deployed with the battery as soon as to Iraq for a non-artillery mission, and twice to Afghanistan for HIMARS missions. “This meant rehearsals on a regular basis and being extraordinarily fast at what we did. Whenever you’re working with guys who count on zero-fail missions, you don’t fail.”
Battery B would earn the 2013 Alexander Hamilton Award, which acknowledges the 12 months’s excellent Nationwide Guard discipline artillery battery for very good mission accomplishment and total unit excellence.
The 97th Agribusiness Growth Workforce mobilized in January 2013 to switch the 82nd ADT as a part of the Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Workforce.
“Whenever you consider agriculture, we consider one of many necessary issues for a great harvest is having deep, thick roots,” Gov. Scott Walker stated on the unit’s Jan. 3 sendoff ceremony. “Definitely from an agricultural standpoint in Afghanistan, you’ll be serving to folks perceive that, however in a really actual sense, these roots aren’t nearly rising issues — they’re about rising a nation.”
Regardless of coaching to extend Kunar Province’s agricultural productiveness, enhance farmer entry to key companies, hyperlink farmers with markets and commerce corridors, rehabilitate watersheds and enhance irrigation, a lot of the 11-member group was built-in into workers responsibility positions throughout the Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Workforce. They continued the work of the 82nd ADT in facilitating agricultural enhancements within the province, however their efforts finally targeted on closing the provincial reconstruction group’s operations in Kunar. The 97th ADT returned to Wisconsin in Might.
June 2013: Afghan forces take the lead in offering safety throughout the nation
Detachment 52 Operational Help Airlift Command, a Madison-based seven-person unit — together with six warrant officer pilots — deployed to Afghanistan in 2014 to fly a C26 two-engine airplane. Missions included ferrying crucial personnel all through Afghanistan and the encircling area. The unit tallied 950 flying hours whereas performing greater than 260 distinguished customer operations missions, carrying NATO dignitaries from greater than 14 completely different nations to locations in Afghanistan and surrounding international locations.
“Our guys didn’t make the headlines,” stated Chief Warrant Officer 4 Arthur Hebblewhite, Detachment 52 commander for the deployment. “It was the folks they flew that made the headlines.”
Hebblewhite famous that the C-26 was not constructed to function in Afghanistan’s austere local weather.
“We had been all the time flying the plane on the very fringe of its limits,” he stated. “The fellows did an superior job doing that.”
Might 27, 2014: President Obama declares withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan
The Wisconsin Nationwide Guard despatched two company-sized models to Afghanistan in Might 2014. The 829th Engineer Firm deployed to take down buildings on ahead working bases in Afghanistan as a part of the accountable drawdown of U.S. forces there. In doing so, the engineers reclaimed materials to save lots of taxpayer cash and in addition forestall that materials from being acquired by enemy forces in Afghanistan. The corporate disassembled three ahead working bases, and lowered the U.S. footprint at one other base in addition to Bagram Airfield, turning in additional than $18 million value of navy tools earlier than returning to Wisconsin in December.
“Our job was really to make issues smaller and to get folks out,” stated Capt. Kyle Gruber, firm commander. “It was lots of work — we needed to make up lots of issues as we went. It’s not essentially one thing the Military does daily.”
The second unit was Battery A, 1st Battalion, 121st Subject Artillery, who would develop into simply the third Nationwide Guard HIMARS battery to supply 24-hour fireplace assist in Afghanistan. Roughly half the unit returned to Wisconsin in December. The remainder of Battery A returned to Wisconsin in February 2015, having supported greater than 200 fight missions overlaying practically half of Afghanistan.
The Superior-based 950th Engineer Firm mobilized in October 2014 for a route-clearance deployment to Afghanistan. Early into their deployment, 50 Troopers got a brand new task — offering safety for Practice, Advise, Help Command-Air, a U.S. Air Drive effort to coach the Afghan Air Drive in Kandahar, in addition to power safety for a ahead working base, contractors and the Air Drive in Kabul.
December 2014: NATO ends its 13-year fight mission in Afghanistan, however maintains a troop presence for coaching Afghan navy
“Offering safety for these people to allow them to proceed the mission and wrap up the warfare in Afghanistan is an important process,” Capt. Andrew Redd, 950th commander, stated in the course of the firm’s Sept. 5, 2015 welcome dwelling ceremony. “And we had been the one ones there to do it in our roles. Offering safety can by no means lapse — you may by no means sleep, you may’t relaxation. We had no simple days in Afghanistan.”
The 950th accomplished 110 route clearance missions and helped affirm and destroy one of many largest weapons caches ever found in Parwan Province.
2015: The Taliban see their greatest navy beneficial properties since 2001, and the Islamic State turns into energetic within the area
The Milwaukee-based 128th Air Refueling Wing started deploying 5 KC-135 refuelers and greater than 140 personnel, starting Sept. 29, 2015 to assist Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.
“Our nation is counting on the Air Nationwide Guard, and the tanker neighborhood particularly, greater than at any time in our historical past,” stated Col. Dan Yenchesky, 128th Air Refueling Wing commander. “And our Air Nationwide Guard continues to ship.”
The Wisconsin Nationwide Guard unveiled a Sept. 11 monument at its Joint Drive Headquarters in Madison on Oct. 3, 2015. The monument consists of twisted metal from the wreckage of the World Commerce Middle twin towers in New York Metropolis, a slab of shattered limestone from the Pentagon, and a chunk of black granite from Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the place United Airways Flight 93 crashed.
“I felt shock, shock, anger,” recalled retired Maj. Gen. Al Wilkening, Wisconsin’s deputy adjutant basic on Sept. 11, 2001, who led the Wisconsin Nationwide Guard’s speedy response. “However on the finish of the day it was all satisfaction, as a result of these of you in uniform did what wanted to be performed. Your actions communicated to our communities, our residents, to the world, that we had been able to do no matter it took to guard our residents sooner or later.”
The West Bend-based Firm C, 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation mobilized in February 2017 to deploy to Afghanistan for a medevac mission.
“Identical to firemen, we’re on name 24/7, so we stay in our medevac constructing,” Capt. Robert Danforth, firm commander, defined in the course of the deployment. “However what’s completely different from an everyday fireman is that our deployed ‘dwelling’ can be the place we work.”
Firm C flew 41 medevac missions involving 57 sufferers and three Afghan fatalities, in addition to 31 expeditionary advising bundle assist missions earlier than returning to Wisconsin Nov. 8.
January 2018: The Taliban escalate assaults as U.S. troops deploy throughout rural Afghanistan in an advisory position
Detachment 5, Operational Help Airlift Command departed from Madison for Afghanistan March 9, 2018. Their mission was to move crucial personnel all through Afghanistan and the encircling area in a C-26 airplane. The three-person unit logged practically 1,500 flight hours and carried greater than 2,400 passengers and 128,000 kilos of cargo earlier than returning to Wisconsin in August.
In September 2018, the first Battalion, 121st Subject Artillery, together with the 108th Ahead Help Firm, deployed for 9 months to assist three concurrent navy operations — Inherent Resolve, Spartan Protect and Freedom’s Sentinel — throughout 15 places in six international locations. The battalion fired roughly 400 Excessive Mobility Artillery Rocket System precision munitions within the battle towards the Taliban in Afghanistan in addition to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
“You helped decimate ISIS and facilitate their withdrawal from Syria,” stated battalion commander Lt. Col. Paul Gapinski. “You helped push again the Taliban. You helped shield our varied strategic assets and deter aggression within the area and proceed to construct on our tradition of interoperability.”
In April 2019 the 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry grew to become the primary thirty second “Crimson Arrow” Brigade unit to deploy to Afghanistan, in addition to the primary Nationwide Guard battalion to companion with an Military safety power help brigade. The 127th’s position was to function “Guardian Angels” — to supply power safety for numerous engagements between Military advisors and different coalition forces, contractors and Afghan troops. The guardian angel mission aimed to scale back insider threats by being with the Military advisors as they carried out their coaching. The Troopers of the 127th monitored physique language and posture amongst these concerned within the coaching occasion to detect if a menace was imminent.
Through the deployment, the 127th despatched Guardian Angel groups to 14 places throughout eight provinces in Afghanistan, whereas additionally gaining quick-reaction power and base protection operations heart duties. Their sister battalion — the first Battalion, 128th Infantry — took over the Guardian Angel mission in November 2019.
In July 2019, the one hundred and fifteenth Fighter Wing’s 176th Fighter Squadron and the active-duty 378th Fighter Squadron assigned to Truax Subject deployed to Bagram Airfield and, based on Brig. Gen. Michael E. Martin — deputy commanding basic for NATO Particular Operations Part Command and Particular Operations Joint Process Drive-Afghanistan — was instantly accountable for altering the tide of the warfare within the Practice Help Advise Command-North area of Afghanistan.
“We had been getting direct suggestions that we had been stopping Afghan Nationwide Military command outposts from getting overrun by Taliban,” stated Lt. Col. Benjamin Gerds, 176th Fighter Squadron commander. “We actually felt like we made an enormous distinction over there.”
The 829th Engineer Firm mobilized for deployment in October 2019, bettering amenities for coalition forces and finishing different important building initiatives within the Center East and Afghanistan. Amongst these initiatives, the unit helped to construct a COVID-19 hospital in Afghanistan earlier than returning to Wisconsin in September 2020.
Feb. 29, 2020: President Donald Trump indicators an settlement with the Taliban in Doha calling for all overseas forces to go away Afghanistan by Might 2021
Roughly 150 of the 400 Troopers from the first Battalion, 128th Infantry returned to Wisconsin in April 2020, an early return from their “Guardian Angel” deployment to Afghanistan, as a part of a deliberate troop drawdown. In June one other 40 Troopers returned to Wisconsin. The rest of the battalion additionally took on a base protection mission earlier than it returned to Wisconsin in August.
Might 1, 2021: The U.S. and NATO start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan
July 2, 2021: The U.S. departs Bagram Air Base
Aug. 15, 2021: Kabul falls to the Taliban. Efforts to evacuate U.S. personnel and Afghans in search of asylum start
Volk Subject serves as a transit hub for Afghan refugees who will likely be housed at close by Fort McCoy.
Aug. 31, 2021: The final U.S. troops go away Afghanistan.
“To the Troopers, Airmen and households of the Nationwide Guard:
“For practically 20 years we’ve got served and sacrificed in Afghanistan. Because the fight reserve of the Military and Air Drive, our presence was vital. Answering our nation’s name, we left behind households, civilian jobs and communities. We carried out and served with honor, and by no means overpassed our responsibility as Citizen-Troopers and Airmen. For all who served or supported us in Afghanistan — we thanks.” — Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, Nationwide Guard Bureau chief, Aug. 18, 2021.