National Guard to return

COVINGTON -- The Georgia Army National Guard announced this week that the 48th Infantry Brigade's Combat Team, which has spent the last 12 months in Afghanistan, will be returning home on a staggered schedule between late February and early April.

Company B 1/121st Infantry of the National Guard's 48th Brigade, based in Covington, is tentatively scheduled to arrive at the end of March, said Family Readiness Coordinator Kim Schroeder.

"We're looking forward to it. They're still doing missions, still carrying on up until the last minute of deployment," she said.

Families will get between 36 and 48 hours notice of the soldiers' return date, Schroeder said.

The soldiers will arrive at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah and will be transported to Cottrell Field at Fort Stewart and released to their families. A local welcome home ceremony is expected to be held in May.

The soldiers' mission has been to train Afghan security forces and Afghan police.

"These soldiers represent what our National Guard is about, ready to serve whenever called and ready to return to their lives and jobs when their duty is complete. I cannot be more proud of these soldiers, nor more appreciative of the sacrifices made by their families and loved ones," said Maj. Gen. Terry Nesbitt, Georgia's adjutant general.