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Virginia National Guard soldiers honored before Kosovo deployment

Deployment is 'unique opportunity' to serve with NATO
Posted at 7:57 PM, Jan 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-02 19:57:11-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. – Family and friends gathered for a deployment ceremony Sunday to honor members of the Virginia National Guard as they begin federal active duty overseas.

The ceremony recognized 140 officers of the Sandston-based 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment, 29th Infantry Division.

The soldiers will serve as the aviation task force for NATO in Kosovo and support a "safe and secure environment for all people in Kosovo while healthy political dialogue continues between Kosovo and Serbia, according to guard leaders.

"The Soldiers of this battalion are excited about our mission and look forward to the challenges in presents," Lt. Col. Craig Lewis, commander of the 2-224th, said. "We see it as opportunity to answer our nation’s call, in the service of contributing to a safe and secure environment throughout Kosovo. Additionally, it offers us a unique opportunity to serve alongside our NATO partners in this endeavor."

The deployment, which is expected to last roughly one year, is the fourth federal active duty mobilization for 2-224th. Additionally, the medical evacuation detachment previously served in Kosovo from January to November 2018.

Thank you for your service and safe travels!