Boots on ground: Bravo back from Afghanistan

by Vaughn R. Larson Wisconsin National Guard public affairs


Members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's Battery B, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery (above) arrive at Fort Bliss, Texas Oct. 11 following a combat deployment to Afghanistan. They are expected to complete several days of demobilization requirements at Fort Bliss before returning to Wisconsin. Capt. Matthew Mangerson and 1st Sgt. Steve Czekala (inset) were among members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's Battery B, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery to arrive at Fort Bliss, Texas Oct. 11 following a combat deployment to Afghanistan. — Wisconsin National Guard photos by Sgt. Sean Huolihan Members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's Battery B, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery (above) arrive at Fort Bliss, Texas Oct. 11 following a combat deployment to Afghanistan. They are expected to complete several days of demobilization requirements at Fort Bliss before returning to Wisconsin. Capt. Matthew Mangerson and 1st Sgt. Steve Czekala (inset) were among members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's Battery B, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery to arrive at Fort Bliss, Texas Oct. 11 following a combat deployment to Afghanistan. — Wisconsin National Guard photos by Sgt. Sean Huolihan FORT BLISS, Texas - The Wisconsin Army National Guard's Battery B, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery returned safely to the United States Oct. 11 following several months conducting a fire support mission in Afghanistan.

The Plymouth, Wis.-based HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) unit was the first in the Army National Guard to conduct a field artillery mission in Afghanistan.

Brig. Gen. Mark Anderson, deputy adjutant general for Army, greeted the Bravo Battery members as they exited the plane at Fort Bliss. He said their sense of accomplishment was palpable.

“This was a true shooting mission for one of our artillery units in theater,” Anderson said. “About 40 percent of the unit members were first-time deployers, and I could sense the pride from that group in having accomplished the mission successfully and safely.”

Capt. Matthew Mangerson, battery commander, shared that pride.

“The only thing more rewarding than successfully conducting the first National Guard HIMARS combat mission is coming home with the same number of healthy Soldiers we left with last December,” Mangerson said Monday.

Bravo Battery's missions are classified as they supported special operations units in Afghanistan.

The nearly 80-member unit will spend several days at Fort Bliss completing demobilization requirements before returning to Wisconsin.


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