About 180 Washington National Guard soldiers came home from the desert last weekend, ending a yearlong deployment in Kuwait.
The soldiers flew and maintained UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters to support American aviation assets in the Middle East and in Afghanistan. They belong to the 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation Regiment, and are based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The Army calls the unit the “Raptor” battalion.
“We are thrilled to have the Raptors home. They are a vital asset to our state and nation, and having them home safe is an early Valentine’s Day gift
for all of us,” said Maj. Gen. Timothy J. Lowenberg, commander of the Washington National Guard.
The battalion previously deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from May 2007 to May 2008.