Kentucky Governor welcomes 101st MCP-OD back from deployment to Afghanistan

Story by: Staff Sgt. Lerone Simmons, 101st MCP-OD Public Affairs

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin welcomes home members of the 101st Main Command Post-Operational Detachment who deployed as part of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) headquarters staff at McAuliffe Hall, Fort Campbell, Ky., Dec. 14th. The unit has been deployed with the 101st for the last year in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Maj. Stephen D. Martin, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs)

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — Thirty-eight Kentucky National Guardsmen and Army Reservists assigned to the 101st Main Command Post – Operational Detachment, Kentucky National Guard, were honored during a ceremony after being deployed as part of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) headquarters staff to Afghanistan, at McAuliffe Hall, Fort Campbell, Ky., Dec. 14.

To see all the photos from the event, please click here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/101stabdivaa/

Honored guests included Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, Kentucky National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Commander (rear) Brig. Gen. Todd Royar.

“It makes me proud to be the commander in chief of a unit that is comprised of men and women like yourself, who are stepping up in ways that represent not only the commonwealth, but the nation, with such incredible effect. I’m grateful to you for that, I truly am, welcome home,” said Bevin.

For the Louisville based MCP-OD, this was the unit’s inaugural “Rendezvous With Destiny,” which integrated them into the 101st Abn. Div. headquarters staff, serving at home and overseas for the past year, in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and NATO’s 41-nation Resolute Support Mission.

As a force multiplier, the MCP-OD offered a myriad of expertise ranging from intelligence, operations, and logistics, allowing them to bolster the overall deployed capability of the 101st Abn. Div., providing support to U.S. and NATO Forces in the Combined Joint Operations Area Afghanistan (CJOA-A).

“Today’s citizen Soldiers are remarkable,” said Maj. Gen. Andrew Poppas, 101st Abn. Div. commanding general. “We are thankful for the diverse and flexible skills they provide to not only our division, but the nation, as it confronts strategic and tactical challenges in Afghanistan and beyond.”

MCP-OD Soldiers served in key roles involving the planning and execution of $3.5 billion of Army appropriation funds across the CJOA-A, providing legal counsel as operational law attorneys, gathering accurate intelligence that impacted operations, working as liaison officers for U.S. Army Central Command, and as battle captains working closely with planning and overseeing operations across the CJOA-A.

“Overall this was a great experience, we were able to carry out our mission as a higher headquarters, gain valuable experience working with active duty, and were able to make it back home safe and sound,” said Capt. Paul Bland, an operations battle captain and Field Artillery officer, assigned to the 101st MCP-OD.

Bland, a Frankfort native and commercial electrician by trade, appreciated the uniqueness of the 101st MCP-OD and the experience it provided.

“Being able to work closely with the people who do this everyday has given me valuable lessons that I will bring back to the commonwealth and share with my unit,” said Bland.

MCP-OD Soldiers will return to their loved ones, civilian occupations, and schools, and will continue to train alongside the 101st Abn. Div. and remain available for the next mission, staying true to the National Guard’s motto, “Always ready, always there.”