67°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Nevada Army National Guard brigade headed home after 9 months in Kuwait

They missed family birthdays and holidays, including the Fourth of July, while they ran supplies for freedom fighters 7,800 miles from Nevada.

Now they’re coming home.

About 240 soldiers from the 17th Sustainment Brigade of the Nevada Army National Guard who were sent to the Middle East in January to help run the supply effort to defeat Islamic State militants in Iraq handed the reins Wednesday to a New York National Guard brigade.

At a ceremony at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, marking the end of the Nevada brigade’s nine-month deployment, 1st Sustainment Command’s Maj. Gen. Paul C. Hurley said it was the first National Guard unit assigned to carry out what he described as the “most difficult sustainment mission” in the Army.

The brigade’s overseas commander in Kuwait, Col. Vernon L. Scarbrough, said he “knew without doubt” from the onset that the brigade would meet and exceed performance expectations in the war zone.

“Every soldier in this room today has, in some way or fashion, made sacrifices for their deployment,” Scarbrough said in a news release on Wednesday. “Our families have also made sacrifices in order for us to deploy.

“Yet, no matter the difficulties, the team stayed focused on the mission without fail. I applaud you all here today, and your loved ones back home, for your persistence, dedication and commitment to keeping it all together, on the home front and here on the mission.”

During their tour, the Nevada brigade provided supplies and services to at least six countries.

“Its most high profile mission was providing over $500 million worth of weapons, supplies and vehicles to allied forces in Iraq through the Iraq Train and Equip Fund,” brigade spokesman Staff Sgt. Victor Joecks said.

The supplies were used to liberate Fallujah, Iraq, from Islamic State militants earlier this year and are being used in the ongoing battle against IS in Mosul.

Joecks said Nevada’s soldiers tracked more than 2,000 missions; transported over $200 million worth of ammunition weighing more than 1.5 million pounds; processed over 3 million pounds of mail; and delivered over 2 million bottles of water.

At the Nevada Army National Guard headquarters in Carson City, public affairs Sgt. 1 st Class Erick Studenicka said the state’s soldiers “are excited that the 17th Sustainment Brigade is nearly homeward bound.”

“Everyone realizes they were assigned a very difficult, Herculean mission and everyone is ecstatic that they met their challenges head on and successfully met their goals,” Studenicka said.

At the ceremony in Kuwait, authority to continue the mission was turned over to the New York National Guard’s 369th Sustainment Brigade.

Nevada’s 17th Sustainment Brigade will head to Texas in the next several days to complete its demobilization requirements before returning to Las Vegas and Reno.

Its deployment was the largest for the Nevada National Guard since the 1st Squadron, 221st Cavalry, sent about 450 Nevada soldiers to Afghanistan along with 280 Guard soldiers from other states in 2010.

Contact Keith Rogers at krogers@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0308. Find him on Twitter: @KeithRogers2

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Tomi Lahren Speaks at UNLV - VIDEO
Fox News contributor and UNLV alumna Tomi Lahren returned to campus Wednesday night for a speech, titled “Stay Triggered,” that drew an auditorium of supporters as well as a group of protesters outside. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders released from Las Vegas hospital - VIDEO
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., issues a statement after he was released from Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week. (Bernie Sanders via Twitter)
Democratic presidential candidates speak on impeachment - VIDEO
Democratic presidential candidates attending the March for Our Lives/Giffords Gun Safety Forum in Las Vegas comment on possible impeachment proceedings. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden Las Vegas Rally Highlights - Video
2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, came to Las Vegas to talk guns, climate change and the Ukranian-Trump scandal. Biden was interrupted by a protestor who sat amongst supporters at the rally and continued with his speech. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden comments on Trump and his campaign efforts in Nevada - Video
After an impeachment inquiry was opened on Donald Trump, Joe Biden talks with Review-Journal politics reporter Rory Appleton about Trump and his campaign in Nevada. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
 
2 pilots, 5 others killed in WWII-era bomber crash in Connecticut

A pilot with more than 7,000 hours of experience flying a B-17 and his co-pilot were among seven people killed when the bomber crashed and burned at a Connecticut airport, officials said Thursday.

Appeals court asked to halt discharge of Airmen with HIV

The Department of Justice has argued that the military allows service members who contract HIV to continue to serve if they can perform their duties.