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Bend National Guard unit welcomed home


Nearly 200 Oregon Army National Guard soldiers of the 1st Squadron, 82nd Cavalry Regiment were welcomed home from Afghanistan on Saturday during a demobilization ceremony at Vince Genna Stadium in Bend.

Officials attending the ceremony included Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., state Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, Maj. Gen. Daniel Hokanson, Oregon’s adjutant general, representing Gov. Kate Brown, and Col. William Prendergast, commander of the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

The 1-82nd Cavalry Squadron mobilized in June of last year as one of three battalion elements of the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team that deployed last summer to provide security in Afghanistan.

Before the demobilization ceremony, three soldiers were awarded Purple Hearts in a ceremony during the Yellow Ribbon reintegration event at The Riverhouse Convention Center: Staff Sgt. Christopher Beach, Spc. Michael Mangin and Spc. Brian Piccolo, all with Bravo Troop.

A total of 25 soldiers in the squadron have also earned Bronze Star Medals for their service during the deployment.

The squadron provided base defense operations and security patrols at Shindand Air Base until November of last year.

The squadron was the last U.S. military force to leave Shindand Air Base as the base was officially turned over to the Afghanistan National Army.

The squadron was re-missioned to conduct flight-line security at Kabul Afghanistan International Airport and base defense operations for Camp International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) in downtown Kabul.

In December, the squadron witnessed history, as ISAF turned over operations to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) non-combat Resolute Support mission.

The squadron continued to conduct base closing, equipment redistribution and base security missions until they re-deployed to the United States and returned home to Oregon on April 15 .

The unit is headquartered in Bend, with companies also in Klamath Falls, Lebanon, and Redmond, and is commanded by Lt. Col. Daniel D. Miner, Jr.

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