Christmas is coming early for approximately 115 Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers who served in Kuwait and will return to Illinois this weekend. The homecoming ceremony for the 444th Chemical Company will be Dec. 22 at 11 a.m. at the Galesburg National Guard Armory, 362 N. Linwood Road in Galesburg.
The Soldiers were mobilized in February and trained for a brief time at Camp Shelby, Miss., before deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Stationed at Camp Virginia, Kuwait, the unit operated as a base command cell supporting units stationed at the base and operations in the region.
The command cell implemented base improvements that saved more than $500,000 in government contracts and increased the billeting capability of Camp Virginia by more than 4,000 Soldiers. The 444th was instrumental in transitioning Camp Virginia from a short-term stop for Soldiers heading into theater into a long-term billeting area.
The 444th also conducted more than 3,000 patrols and secured 71 unexploded ordnances without loss of life or equipment.
News media attending the event should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the ceremony. For more information call the Public Affairs Office at 217-761-3569.
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