SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – After more than 10 months serving in Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, nearly 60 Soldiers of the Utah National Guard’s 4th Infantry Division Main Command Post Operational Detachment (MCPOD) are returning home to their families and loved ones sporadically throughout August, with a group of five arriving at the Salt Lake International Airport tonight, Aug. 27, on a Delta flight approximately 7:23 p.m.
The Soldiers have been gradually filtering home from deployment for out-processing over the first part of August to Fort Carson, Colorado, with several arriving in Utah the last week of August.
“I’m extremely proud of the hard work of our Soldiers over the last nine months. Their contributions to ensuring that Afghanistan can never again become a safe haven for terrorists was vital to protecting our national security,” said Maj. Gen. Randy A. George, commanding, general, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson.
Operation Freedom’s Sentinel has two complementary missions: the U.S. counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan; and U.S. military participation in the NATO-led Resolute Support mission to develop the capacity of the Afghan security ministries and to train, advise and assist Afghan security forces.
“To the families and communities of the greater Colorado Springs area and Utah, ‘thank you’ simply isn’t enough,” Maj. Gen. George said. “The incredible support you have provided during this deployment enabled our important mission to protect our homeland as we worked to help set conditions for a political solution that will end the conflict in Afghanistan.”
MCPOD Soldiers supported Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and Resolute Support mission in a number of capacities, from overseeing military operations countrywide, to training, advising and assisting at the ministerial level, to working side-by-side with Afghan partners at the corps and provincial level on a daily basis.
Media Notes: Media are welcome to this event and should arrive to SLC Int. Airport no later than 7 p.m. in case of early arrival. Five Soldiers will be arriving in Delta Terminal 2 from Colorado Springs on a flight currently scheduled for 7:23 p.m. Soldiers and families will be available for photos and/or interviews. For more information contact MAJ D.J. Gibb at (801) 716-9063. See our webpage for more information on the UTNG and links to current photos, videos, social media, and more.