Kansas Adjutant General's Department

2/24/2012
Contact: Public Affairs Office- Catherine Horner
Email: catherine.f.horner.nfg@mail.mil

(785) 646-1192
www.kansastag.gov

 

12-010 Kansas National Guard battalion being welcomed home from Horn of Africa Feb. 25 in Topeka

The third group of soldiers from the Kansas National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery and 35th Military Police Company will be welcomed home from their year-long deployment to the Horn of Africa on Saturday, Feb. 25, in Topeka, Kan.

The ceremony will begin at 12 p.m. at Forbes Field Hangar 662, 190th Air Refueling Wing, Kansas National Guard. Everyone attending the ceremony should enter Forbes through Gate B. The gate opens at 10 a.m. The first group was welcomed home on Feb. 9 and the second group on Feb. 20.

The ceremony will honor approximately 180 soldiers who spent the last year conducting stability operations in Africa to strengthen partner nation and regional security capacity for long-term regional stability, and to prevent conflict and protect U.S. and Coalition interests.

The unit deployed March 2, 2011, after training at the Kansas Regional Training Center, Salina, Kan.

"We are proud of the soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery and the 35th Military Police for their many accomplishments in the Horn of Africa," said Maj. Gen. (KS) Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general. "During their year-long mission, they exemplified professionalism, dedication, self-sacrifice and all the other values we hold dear. It’s good to have them back home."

"It has been my pleasure to serve with the professionals of the 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery," said Lt. Col. Thomas Burke, commander of the 1-161st FA. "Throughout this deployment, they have endured the personal sacrifices to enable the safety of U.S. and Coalition personnel and equipment abroad while successfully conducting over 50 military mentoring missions in nine African countries."

The battalion is headquartered in Wichita, with subordinate units in Dodge City, Great Bend, Lenexa, Liberal, Hutchinson, Newton, Paola, Pratt and Topeka. The unit is commanded by Lt. Col. Thomas Burke and the command sergeant major is Command Sgt. Maj. Ricky Matticks.

The 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery was the second of two teams that have been sent by the Kansas National Guard to the Horn of Africa.

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