207th Horizontal Engineer Company closes out a successful deployment in the Middle East

By: Maj. Stephen D. Martin, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

Members of the 207th Horizontal Engineer Construction Company return to the Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Ky., Nov. 9, 2017. The Soldiers were returning from the Middle East, where they completed more than 100 work orders and 38 construction projects in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation
Freedom’s Sentinel throughout six countries in Central Asia. (Kentucky National Guard photo by Stacy Floden)

LEXINGTON, Ky. — More than 160 members of the Kentucky National Guard’s 207th Horizontal Engineer Construction Company, based out of Hazard and Jackson, Kentucky, were honored by friends and family after returning from a nearly year-long deployment to Central Asia at the Lexington, Kentucky airport Nov. 9, 2017.

To see photos from the welcome home, please click HERE.

To see a video of the entire ceremony, please visit our Facebook page HERE.

The unit was greeted by hundreds of friends and family from across the state as well as Kentucky’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Hogan.

“I want to tell you I’m proud of you, you’ve made Kentucky proud, you’ve made yourselves proud and you’ve made your unit proud,” remarked Hogan. “Thank you for your service, and family and friends, thank you for your sacrifice.

Welcome home.”

Commanded by Capt. Brian Ladd, the 207th assumed the mission to support force protection and over-the-horizon projects throughout the CENTCOM area of responsibility in late spring of 2017. During that time, the 207th completed over 100 work orders, 38 projects worth over $9 Million in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel spread throughout six countries in Central Asia. The teams were distributed in groups of 4 to 18 Soldiers with very limited resources and were able to accomplish far more than they anticipated.

Members of the 207th Horizontal Engineer Construction Company return to the Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Ky., Nov. 9, 2017. The Soldiers were returning from the Middle East, where they completed more than 100 work orders and 38 construction projects in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel throughout six countries in Central Asia. (Kentucky National Guard photo by Stacy Floden)

“From the very beginning of our tour, the 207th exhibited the workhorse mentality of our own 201st Engineer battalion and lived the motto of the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, ‘never defeated’,” said Ladd. “Because of this, we were assigned the most difficult and challenging missions and in every instance we impressed our customers with the speed and quality of our work.

Our reputation spread quickly through our area of operations, to the point where we were being asked for by name; and as a result of our efforts, we received numerous medals and accolades. 1st Sgt. Vaughn and I’s most important achievement though is that the entire unit will return home safely with no serious injuries.”

The unit raised the Theater Provided Equipment (TPE) to 85% with a 90% Operational Readiness Rating and personally increased their Annual Physical Fitness Test pass rating and height weight requirements to above 90% while deployed.

The unit had two departure ceremonies in Eastern Kentucky before mobilizing. Community events were held on Dec. 13th and 14th of last year, with the Soldiers leaving Kentucky just before Christmas.