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Tyrone National Guard unit among hundreds returning home this week

Members of Pennsylvania Army National Guard from Tyrone are returning home to loved ones in the area after coming back to the United States from Kosovo.
“The members of the Second Battalion of the 112th Infantry returned to Fort Dix in New Jersey back on February 27,” said Captain Eric Zimmerman of the Lewistown Armory.
The troops have now completed the second part of their journey home and are back in Pennsylvania.
“Of those returning this week to Pennsylvania, 36 are from the Tyrone area,” Zimmerman told The Daily Herald. “These troops were part of the United Nations peace keeping force in Kosovo.
“They’ve been transported to a variety of locations (as of Tuesday),” said Zimmerman. “We expect loved ones will be taking them home.
“They are released to go back to their families and will have a 90-day break,” said Zimmerman. “They’ll also be exempt this year from a two-week training period.”
Danielle Klinger of the National Guard Public Affairs Office at Fort Indiantown Gap said the troops were returning to locations in Huntingdon, Altoona, Lewistown and Everett.
The recent returnees arrived Monday and Tuesday at those locations and were the last of 1,100 Guardsmen and women, all from units of the 28th Infantry Division (Mechanized), who were taken by bus to their home units from Fort Dix, N.J.
According to its web site, www.paguard.com, The Army National Guard is a branch of the U.S. Total Army, consisting of the Active, Guard, and Reserve components. The Army National Guard is composed of reservists, civilians who serve their country on a part-time basis. Pennsylvania like each state and territory has its own Army National Guard force.
The web site goes on to indicate The Pennsylvania Army National Guard has a unique dual mission, with both federal and state responsibilities.
That mission as stated on the web site is explained as follows: during peacetime, the governor, through the State Adjutant General, commands the Pennsylvania Guard forces. The governor can call the Guard into action during local or statewide emergencies, such as storms, drought, and civil disturbances, etc. Additionally, the President can activate the National Guard to participate in Federal missions such as the peacekeeping effort in Kosovo.
Recent history regarding the Pennsylvania National Guard includes its formal establishment in 1947 although its roots date back to the 1700s and Benjamin Franklin.
Other recent history includes:
•1950-1952 – the 28th Division is mobilized for NATO duty in Germany, replacing Regular Army units that have been deployed to Korea. Several Pennsylvania units see service in Korea;
•1966-1967 – Pennsylvania Air National Guard airlift units fly 134 supply missions to Vietnam — becoming the first reserve air force ever to enter a combat zone without actually being mobilized; and
•1972 – widespread flooding in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Agnes results in 45 deaths and three billion dollars in property damage. Nearly 13,000 Army and Air Guard members are called to state active duty to help with relief operations;
•1990-1991 – Eight Army and Air Guard units from Pennsylvania are mobilized for duty in Southwest Asia during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Every member returns home safely;
•1993 – The Pennsylvania National Guard launches a military partnership with the government of Lithuania, as part of a U.S. initiative to promote the growth of democratic institutions among the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union;
•1996 – Pennsylvania Guard members open roads, transport doctors and patients, and mount heroic helicopter rescue operations during statewide flooding and blizzards;
•1996-1997 – hundreds of Pennsylvania soldiers and airmen deploy to Germany, Hungary and Bosnia in support of United Nations peacekeeping efforts in the former Yugoslavia;
•2001 – forty two soldiers from a Battery F (Target Acquisition), 109th Field Artillery, of York, an element of the 28th Infantry Division (Mechanized), participates in a seven-month peacekeeping assignment in Kosovo;
•2002 – over 1,000 Pennsylvania Guard members support operations.
Locally, the Pennsylvania National Guard Armory is located on Logan Avenue and is known as Detachment 1, HC, Second Battalion of the 112th Infantry.