01/06/05 — More National Guardsmen scheduled to return

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More National Guardsmen scheduled to return

By Staff and Wire
Published in News on January 6, 2005 2:03 PM

More than half of the N.C. National Guard's 230th Support Battalion have returned from Iraq, and the rest should be back by late Monday, said a Guard spokesman.

Two of the battalion's units, the Charlie Medical Company and the Headquarters Company, are based in Goldsboro. More than 250 soldiers combined from these two units were deployed.

The 230th Support Battalion is part of the 30th Heavy Separate Brigade, which sent nearly 5,000 soldiers to Iraq in February and March.

Sgt. Marcus Spade with the National Guard public affairs office in Raleigh said around 72 soldiers based in Goldsboro are scheduled to arrive around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, and about 80 should arrive on Monday around 7 a.m. These times are subject to change.

The soldiers will arrive at Pope Air Force Base and then will be taken to Fort Bragg to be reunited with family and friends.

All of the soldiers in the 30th should be home by late Monday, except for those who have stayed behind to pack and clean the equipment. Those who remain should be back within a couple of months, Spade said.

The 30th was one of the first major National Guard units to rotate into Iraq, providing relief for other troops. Five members have been killed in action. The brigade provided security and reconstruction help north and east of Baghdad.

A Guard unit from Tennessee is replacing the 30th Brigade and has been in place for weeks.

The brigade was the first unit of its size from the North Carolina National Guard to be called to combat since World War II.

The Clinton-headquartered 30th comprises units based at armories from Wilmington to Charlotte.

Ceremonies observing their return will be held at individual guard armories this month. A larger brigade-wide celebration will be held in the spring.