About 170 Washington National Guard soldiers arrived home Tuesday from a yearlong mobilization, during which they hauled cargo to American military bases across Iraq.
The soldiers from the 1161st Transportation Company and the 1041st Transportation Company arrived at Sea-Tac and Spokane airports, where they were met friends and family.
The companies – which formed Task Force 1161st in Iraq – are based in Ephrata and Spokane but have soldiers from across the state. They drove tractor-trailers on long-haul missions, hauling more than 31.4 million pounds of cargo and delivering 71,000 pallets of water.
The soldiers mobilized for federal service in March and arrived in Iraq in May after training in Indiana.
“We are proud of the service and dedication shown by Task Force 1161st,” Maj. Gen. Timothy Lowenberg, the state adjutant general, said in a press release. “Their long hours on the road and tireless work ethic kept vital supplies flowing to U.S. forces in Iraq,”
We caught up with a few soldiers enjoying some downtime earlier this year.1