80 Delaware National Guard members return home

Expect some emotional reunions this afternoon as a group of soldiers returns to Delaware after spending nearly a year in Afghanistan.

80 members of the 198th Expeditionary Signal Battalion are expected to arrive at the New Castle Air National Guard Base later Wednesday afternoon. They’ll then travel by bus to Newport or Georgetown to meet their families.

The Guard members coming home are just a portion of the 300 members of the 198th who went to Afghanistan in May 2013. About 60 soldiers returned at the end of January. The remaining soldiers in the battalion are expected to return to the First State over the weekend.

When they left for their mission, Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala, Adjutant General of the Delaware National Guard said the soldiers are part of the largest deployment of the National Guard since the start of the fight in Afghanistan.

In November, about 70 members of the Delaware Army National Guard left Delaware for a 12-month active duty tour in Kuwait. That deployment marks the third tour of duty for the 3-238th General Support Aviation Battalion since 2004. Some of the soldiers in the battalion have been sent on all three tours.

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