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95 NY Army National Guard Soldiers return to western NY from Ukraine mission

STAFF REPORTS

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- Ninety-five New York Army National Guard Soldiers who have been part of a NATO mission to train Ukrainian Soldiers will return to New York this afternoon, Thursday, August 2, at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. 

The Soldiers left New York on the mission on October 2, 2017.

Members of the media are welcome to cover the Soldiers return to New York.

WHO: Ninety-five Soldiers assigned to the 2nd Squadron 101st Cavalry, headquartered at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station and with elements in Jamestown, Buffalo, and Geneva; and members of the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, headquartered in Syracuse.

WHAT: The first element of 220 Soldiers who served as part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, return to New York from Fort Bliss, Texas where they have been out processing after 10 months on federal active duty, will return to New York. The remaining Soldiers are expected home towards the end of August.

WHEN: 3:45 p.m. , Thursday. August 2, 2018: Members of the media must be at the Lockport Road Gate No Later than 3:15 p.m. in order to be in position to cover the arrival of the aircraft which could be between 3:15 and 4:15 p.m.

WHERE: Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, Niagara Falls, N.Y., Lockport Road Gate

BACKGROUND:
The New York National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group- Ukraine worked with NATO troops from Canada, Denmark, Lithuania, Poland and the United Kingdom to assist Ukrainian Army troops training at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center near the City of Livov, Ukraine.

Under the command of Col. Dennis Deeley the New York National Guard troops helped oversee training for Approximately 2,000 Ukrainian Soldiers organized into four battalion training groups.
The Ukranian soldiers trained on computer simulators and in the field.

The American Soldiers help their Ukrainian counterparts plan and execute training missions.
The Soldiers deployed from New York to Fort Bliss, Texas on October 2, 2017 and after a month of training at Fort Bliss 60 Soldiers deployed to the Army's training center on Grafenwoehr, Bavaria, Germany for training with the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command.

The New York National Guard team took over the mission from Oklahoma National Guard troops on Nov. 22.

The New York National Guard team will turn the mission over to elements from the Tennessee Army National Guard's 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment.

Unfortunately, the unit lost Specialist Joseph Nelk, age 21, a resident of Pittsford, who died unexpectedly of natural causes. Nelk was a member of the 2nd Squadron 101st Cavalry who had enlisted in the New York Army National Guard in March, 2015.