Groton-based National Guard unit deploying in support of operations in Kuwait and Afghanistan

Eighty members of the Connecticut Army National Guard's 1109th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group have officially deployed in support of operations in Kuwait and Afghanistan.

Based in Groton and commanded by Col. Raymond Chicoski, the group is responsible for providing combat-level helicopter maintenance in support of Operations Spartan Shield, Inherent Resolve and Freedom Sentinel.

Traditionally, National Guard units are required to conduct a training period on a mobilization station, often on an active duty Army installation, prior to deployment. The 1109th's deployment marks the first time a Connecticut Army National Guard unit conducted all of its training in-state prior to deployment.

The TASMG's deployment brings the total number of Connecticut National Guardsmen deployed in support of operations overseas to nearly 200.

"These Soldiers broke the mold in how they trained for a deployment," Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, head of the Connecticut National Guard, said in a statement. "By being able to do all of their pre-deployment training right here in Connecticut, soldiers maximized the time at home with family and friends. We wish the deploying members of the 1109th the best of luck and we pray for their safe return."

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