The first Soldiers of the Tennessee National Guard’s returning 278th
Armored Cavalry Regiment step off a C-130 Transport Wednesday at the
Guard’s Volunteer Training Site in Smyrna. Maj. Gen. Max Haston, the
Adjutant General, announced that the regiment’s 3,400 soldiers are
coming home from Iraq five to six months earlier than expected, with
units arriving in increments from June through August.
Nashville – Maj. Gen. Max Haston, Tennessee’s Adjutant General, announced Monday that the state’s largest Army National Guard unit, the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, will return from Iraq earlier than scheduled. The first units of the regiment will have approximately 250 Soldiers from armories in Maryville, McKenzie and Henderson who are scheduled to arrive in two flights at the Volunteer Training Site-Smyrna Wednesday, June 16, at approximately 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. “In order to meet the National Command Authority’s timeline of less than 50,000 combat troops in Iraq after Aug. 31, 2010, Soldiers of the 278th have begun leaving their Iraqi bases and heading back to the United States,” Haston said. “We are extremely pleased to welcome these brave soldiers home earlier than planned.” The return will be carried out in phases with the Regiment returning home over two to three months. The first soldiers arrived at Camp Shelby, Miss., in mid-June for demobilization. The remaining troops willdemobilize through Camp Shelby in groups through the end of August. “We thank them for their service and we thank their families and employers for the outstanding support shown throughout this deployment,” Haston said. “The 278th continues the tradition of excellence shown by the nearly 20,000 Tennessee soldiers and airmen deployed since Sept. 11, 2001, and the generations of Tennessee Volunteers who served before them.” The 278th mobilized in December 2009 for one year, with plans originally to return around December 2010. After pre-mobilization training at Camp Shelby, the unit deployed to Iraq in February 2010. The 278th is headquartered in Knoxville, and is composed of more than 3,400 soldiers from across the Volunteer State, including Weakley County. Additional arrival times will be announced as they become available. WCP 6.15.10