Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Stainsby, A Battery, 182nd Field Artillery, Michigan National Guard, holds his daughter, Clair, for the first time at the unit’s welcome home ceremony in Detroit, Mich, Feb. 8, 2024. (U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Helen Miller)
Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Stainsby, A Battery, 182nd Field Artillery, Michigan National Guard, holds his daughter, Clair, for the first time at the unit’s welcome home ceremony in Detroit, Mich, Feb. 8, 2024. (U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Helen Miller) (Photo Credit: Master Sgt. Helen Miller) VIEW ORIGINAL

LANSING, Mich. - For almost a year, dedicated Michigan National Guard members set aside their civilian lives and careers to support U.S. national security.

Feb. 8 marked the homecoming of 84 Citizen-Soldiers belonging to the Michigan National Guard’s Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 182nd Field Artillery, following their overseas deployment to Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates. The unit, operating the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, supported operations Spartan Shield and Inherent Resolve in the Central Command region.

“Today, we welcome Michiganders who served our state and nation admirably in uniform back home,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “These 84 Citizen-Soldiers are the best of us, and I am so grateful that they are coming back home right in time for a pure Michigan spring after successfully carrying out their mission. Let’s keep working together to support the men and women of our National Guard and their families by having their backs every step of the way.”

As the Alpha Battery Soldiers reunited with their families and friends, the battery commander, Capt. Kasey Robbins, expressed his gratitude and pride in the unit’s accomplishments. “The dedication and resilience of Alpha Battery has been truly exceptional. Our Soldiers executed their mission with precision and contributed significantly to the ongoing success of operations Spartan Shield and Inherent Resolve,” said Robbins.

First Sgt. Kaleb Vickery praised the Soldiers’ readiness and training.

“These Soldiers have demonstrated unwavering resilience and the ability to be ready at a moment’s notice,” Vickery said. “Their commitment to maintaining peak readiness is a testament to their professionalism and dedication to the mission.”

Alpha Battery, 1-182 FA, joined forces with the 3-197 Field Artillery unit, New Hampshire Army National Guard, for the deployment.

“Our Soldiers integrated seamlessly in a joint, total-force environment,” said Robbins. “We worked with active-duty and Guard members from both the Army and Air Force. The men and women from Michigan demonstrated impressive professionalism while working directly with the host nation partners and their Air Force counterparts.”

Robbins said the Alpha Battery, 1-182 FA team worked closely with the host-nation partners during training exercises using the HIMARS systems.

HIMARS is a highly mobile artillery rocket system that allows for the deployment of various munitions.

While the homecoming was a celebration, recent news of drone attacks on U.S. service members in Jordan highlighted the ongoing threats faced by military personnel in the region.

Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general for the Michigan Army National Guard and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, commended Alpha Battery for outstanding contributions to national security overseas.

“Alpha Battery’s accomplishments during their deployment underscore the Michigan National Guard’s commitment to ensuring the safety and security of our nation,” Rogers said. “Their dedication and proficiency in operating the HIMARS system have significantly advanced our strategic objectives in the region.”

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