National Guard welcomes home three units

Hartford — The Connecticut National Guard held a formal welcome home ceremony for three units at the William A. O’Neill Armory today, including the East Lyme-based 246th Fire Fighting Detachment.

The soldiers in the firefighting detachment were recognized for serving in Afghanistan. They provided firefighter services to Forward Operating Base Apache and the adjacent airfield near Qalat in Zabul province. They mobilized in September 2011 and returned to Connecticut in August.

The Army National Guard 142nd Area Support Medical Company of Naugatuck also was recognized for a deployment to Afghanistan. The soldiers, who operated five NATO clinics within the Kabul Base Cluster, mobilized in November 2011 and returned to Connecticut in October.

The Connecticut Air National Guard 103rd Air Control Squadron was recognized for supporting the Joint Air Defense of the Arabian Gulf by providing surveillance and data link coverage and tracking more than 460,000 aircraft. This was the sixth contingency deployment since 2001 for the 103rd ACS, of Orange. The unit left in May and returned to Connecticut in November.

There are nearly 600 soldiers and airmen from the Connecticut National Guard currently deployed to Southwest Asia.

j.mcdermott@theday.com

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