Welcome Home Ceremony for the 198th Military Police Battalion Headquarters

Story by Capt. Stephen Martin, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

For all our photos of the event, click HERE.

Family members hold up a banner welcoming home Sgt. Robert Ayers at the welcome home ceremony held at the Beuchel Army National Guard Armory in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 2. (Photo by 1st Lt. Mark Slaughter, Kentucky National Guard Yellow Ribbon Program)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —  The first wave of Kentucky National Guard troops returned home today since the presidential announcement regarding the drawdown of forces in Iraq.

Nearly 50 Soldiers from the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment of the 198th Military Police Battalion were honored at a welcome home ceremony at Beuchel National Guard Armory in Louisville today when they reunited with family members they hadn’t seen in five months.

For WAVE3’s story, click HERE.

“We completed an historic mission,” said Lt. Col. Shontelle Adams, commander of the 198th MP Battalion. “Our unit played a critical part in transitioning all base operations to civilian control.”

Spc. Stephanie Sullivan embraces her daughters Jewel and Lila at the Beuchel Army National Guard Armory during the 198th Military Police Battalion Headquarters welcome home ceremony in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 2. (Photo by 1st Lt. Mark Slaughter, Kentucky National Guard Yellow Ribbon Program)

Based out of Taji, Iraq, the Soldiers from the Headquarters Detachment were responsible for providing a command structure for the bases as well as base defense operations for Contingency Operating Sites in Iraq.

Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, adjutant general for Kentucky, attended the welcome home ceremony to greet the Soldiers and congratulate them on a job well done.

“This unit was given the best ratings of any base in theater for how they conducted operations,” said Tonini.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Charles Richter hugs his wife at the Beuchel Army National Guard Armory during the 198th Military Police Battalion Headquarters welcome home ceremony in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 2. (Photo by 1st Lt. Mark Slaughter, Kentucky National Guard Yellow Ribbon Program)

“The 198th was known as the ‘Troops that knew what right looks like,’ so, of course they were selected as the model for all enduring bases in Iraq.”

The 198th MP’s are part of the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade which deployed more than 1,300 Soldiers to Iraq in June.

The remaining Soldiers from the 149th still have orders to remain on active duty until the middle of 2012. Until those orders are amended, the Soldiers are committed to accomplishing whatever mission is asked of them.

Maj. Tim Starke holds his children Mallory and Ben at the Beuchel Army National Guard Armory during the 198th Military Police Battalion Headquarters welcome home ceremony in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 2. (Photo by 1st Lt. Mark Slaughter, Kentucky National Guard Yellow Ribbon Program)

Since 9/11, nearly 14,000 Kentucky National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have deployed in support of the Global War on Terror. The Kentucky National Guard currently has more than 1,500 Troops deployed worldwide.

For distinguished service during their tour in Iraq, several members of the unit received Bronze Star medals and Army Commendation medals at the Beuchel Army National Guard Armory during the 198th Military Police Battalion Headquarters welcome home ceremony in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 2.

About kentuckyguard