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NEWS | April 15, 2024

Michigan Guard Military Police Soldiers end Guantanamo Mission

By Master Sgt. Helen Miller, Michigan National Guard

LANSING, Mich. – The water spray arch of two Detroit Metro Airport firetrucks marked the homecoming of 62 Michigan National Guard Citizen-Soldiers with the 177th Military Police Brigade following their deployment to Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“We are thrilled to welcome home today the members of the 177th MP who have dedicated the past year of their lives to securing our nation and protecting their fellow Americans,” said Lt. Col. James Blocker, commander, 177th MP Brigade. “They performed a difficult and important mission and did so with great skill and courage. We are proud of their accomplishments and grateful to them and their families for their outstanding service.”

Family and friends welcomed the 62 Soldiers home at  the Signature airplane hangar at the Detroit airport.

“For 16 months, this amazing brigade-level staff from the 177th (forward) trained for and executed the mission flawlessly,” said Command Sgt. Major James Taylor. “Every Warfighter from E-4 through 0-5 was focused and dedicated to overall success of our operation and worked every hour possible to deliver products to the commander so he could make deliberate staff decisions

“Their sacrifice and motivation displayed while deployed went above and beyond, and the team was given praise from the previous commander as the best brigade staff he has ever worked with,“ Taylor said. 

Joint Task Force Guantanamo is responsible for the care and custody of law of armed conflict detainees and the collection and dissemination of intelligence supporting the Global War on Terror. JTF-Guantanamo serves as an integral component of Operation Enduring Freedom. 

Now that these Soldiers are home, they will participate in the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, which promotes the well-being of National Guard and Reserve members, their families and communities by connecting them with resources throughout the deployment cycle. 

Commanders and leaders play a critical role in ensuring that National Guard and Reserve Service members and their families attend yellow ribbon events where they can access information on health care, education, employment and financial and legal benefits.

“After a job well done abroad, our focus shifts to ensuring the readiness of the formation at home,” said Brig. Gen. Ravi Wagh, Michigan Army National Guard commander. “At the heart of our Army’s readiness is our people and, by extension, their families and employers. We have resources in place to ensure the transition back to a normal routine is as smooth as possible, for both the Soldier and those that support them.”



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