Guardsmen to return from Iraq deployment
About 440 of the nearly 4,000 members of the North Carolina Army National Guard‘s 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team are scheduled to return to the state this weekend after a nine-month deployment to Iraq, officials said Friday.
Groups of soldiers are expected to arrive in Sanford, Hamlet and Charlotte at 11 a.m. Saturday, in High Point at noon Saturday, in Parkton at 10:45 a.m. Sunday and in Southern Pines and Lincolnton at 11 a.m. Sunday.
The soldiers returned to the U.S. a week ago and have spent several days demobilizing at Fort Stewart, Ga.
During their deployment, the soldiers trained Iraqi police and army forces, assisted in civil projects like school and infrastructure improvements and conducted joint combat operations with Iraqi Security Forces.
Seven guardsmen were killed during the deployment; five of them were members of the North Carolina National Guard.
Soldiers will continue returning to North Carolina over the next several weeks, and an April 11 ceremony will be held in their honor at the RBC Center in Raleigh.