May 13, 2004 – About 50 members of the V.I. National Guard 631st Engineer Team, headquartered on St. Thomas, got their first glimpse of America in more than eight months as they arrived in San Juan from Afghanistan on Thursday.
National Guard Adjutant General Cleave McBean and staff members met the unit at Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport, where the soldiers were dispatched to Fort Buchanan to begin a demobilization process.
McBean said the troops will arrive on St. Thomas Tuesday at Cyril E. King Airport, where they will be greeted by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull in a ceremony scheduled for 9:40 a.m. About 15 St. Croix soldiers will then be flown home, where they will be greeted by their families in another ceremony at Henry E. Rohlsen Airport.
The unit was mobilized in July 2003 and deployed to Afghanistan in September. Assigned to the 10th Mountain Division and based in Kandahar, the unit lent engineering support for forwarding operations.
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