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Ceremony held to send off Massachusetts National Guard as they head to the Middle East



Massachusetts Army National Guard Soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment, stand in formation during their deployment ceremony at Joint Base Cape Cod, Mass., Feb. 5. The Guardsmen are deploying in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (Massachusetts Army National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jerry Saslav)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – A sendoff ceremony was held for soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment, Massachusetts National Guard on Camp Edwards, February 5, 2023.

The Soldiers, who are stationed at Westfield and Camp Edwards, will deploy to several locations across the Middle East in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

“The Massachusetts National Guard is a dual mission force,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. Gary W. Keefe, The Adjutant General, Massachusetts National Guard “We have to be ready to meet the needs of both our state and the country. Today, we are reminded that our primary mission is to fight and win our nation’s wars. With nearly a dozen deployments in support of contingency operations in the Middle East, the men and women of the 126th Aviation are once again prepared to serve their nation overseas.”

The 3rd Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment’s deployments include Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005-2006, 2010-2011; Operation Enduring Freedom in 2013-2014; and Operation Inherent Resolve in 2016-2017, 2017-2018 and 2019.

Since its inception in 1636, the Massachusetts National Guard has participated in each of our nation’s conflicts, steadfastly serving the country and the citizens of the Commonwealth. More than 20,000 Massachusetts National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have deployed since September 11, 2001.

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