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NEWS | Feb. 6, 2024

Oregon Troops Back from Operation Spartan Shield Mission

By Maj. Wayne Clyne, Oregon National Guard Public Affairs Office

ONTARIO, Ore. - Oregon Army National Guard's Adder Company Soldiers were welcomed home Feb. 3 from a yearlong deployment to the Middle East to support Operation Spartan Shield.

The demobilization ceremony occurred at the Ontario Army National Guard Armory for the 16 Soldiers from Adder Company, 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment. Families and community members attended.

Brig. Gen. Alan Gronewold, adjutant general of Oregon, and Command Sgt. Maj. Lee Smith, senior enlisted leader, welcomed the Soldiers home in a recorded video. During the ceremony, 1st Lt. Steven Sawyer read welcome letters from Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley.

Col. Russell Gibson, commander of the 82nd Troop Command Brigade, spoke to the Soldiers, praising their service and sacrifice. Lt. Col. Christopher Miller, commander of the 3-116th Cavalry Regiment, officiated the event along with Col. Gibson, welcoming home each Soldier in a receiving line.

Adder Company deployed in March to provide a rapid reaction force for U.S. Central Command, deterring malign influence and reassuring allies in the region. The company trained for two months at Fort Bliss, Texas, before mobilizing for nine months in Kuwait.

While overseas, as part of Task Force Rattler, Adder Company conducted exercises and worked with partner nation forces in Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. They displayed U.S. Army capabilities through emergency drills, weapons qualifications, and Abrams tank gunnery exercises.

Some of the Soldiers qualified on the new Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Integrated Defense System known as M-LIDS, gaining experience to combat electronic warfare and unmanned aerial threats.

The Soldiers maintained readiness as a quick reaction force for Central Command throughout their deployment.

"Time and again, you demonstrated your competence, heart, and skill as members of the Oregon National Guard. When duty called, you answered," said Gibson. "You show the best of the Oregon spirit: committed, tough, resilient, pulling together to meet any test. Always ready, always there."




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