Hoosier Guardsmen return home in time for the upcoming holidays

By Sgt. Tackora Hand | Company C, 2-238th General Support Aviation Battalion | Oct. 23, 2020

Indianapolis —

Approximately 60 Indiana National Guard soldiers from Company C, 2-238th General Support Aviation Battalion returned home from Kuwait just in time for the holidays.

The Gary-based aviation company deployed to Kuwait earlier this year in support of Operation Spartan Shield and Inherent Resolve.

Operation Inherent Resolve's mission is to militarily defeat Islamic State group in the Middle East in order to increase regional stability.

"We left premobilization training at Fort Sill with confidence and perseverance," said Maj. Kenneth Watkins, commander of Company C, 2-238th General Support Aviation Battalion. "Going overseas we were all spread apart, but we communicated effectively and remained flexible."

Units supporting Operation Spartan Shield provide capabilities such as aviation, logistics, force protection and information management, and facilitate theater security cooperation activities such as key leader engagements, joint exercises, conferences, symposia, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response planning.

"The soldiers really valued the mission, which lead to ultimate mission success," said Watkins.

While not on mission soldiers seized every opportunity to conduct training in real-world scenarios.

"The deployment was certainly dynamic between the Iranian aggression and the global pandemic," said Sgt. Kayla Sampson a flight medic the company. "These extra challenges offered me the opportunity to train and experience things I wouldn't have had the ability to at Caution-home."

Operation Spartan Shield is an ongoing multiservice force operation designed to maintain a U.S. military posture in the Middle East. The operation began September 2012.

The Indiana National Guard, represented by more than 13,000 Hoosier service members, civilian employees and their families, continues Indiana's proud tradition of military service.