National Guard units returning Saturday

Friday, July 2, 2010

NASHVILLE - Two more units of the Tennessee National Guard's 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment are to arrive back in Tennessee on Saturday, just in time to celebrate Independence Day on home turf.

The two units are Lewisburg's "G" Troop of the 278th Support Squadron and the 181st Forward Support Company, headquartered in Athens. Each unit has about 125 soldiers returning.

Guardsmen in the Lewisburg unit are to land at the National Guard's Volunteer Training Site in Smyrna at 3 p.m. The first arriving group, expected to be the Athens unit, is scheduled to land at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Two C-130 aircraft will transport each of the units, and National Guard officials emphasize that times are subject to change. In recent weeks, the aircraft have arrived slightly earlier than expected.

The Tennesseans are presently at Camp Shelby, Miss., undergoing initial phases of out-processing. After completing out-processing at Smyrna, Guardsmen will be transported by bus to their respective armories at a time still to be determined.

The 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, headquartered in Knoxville, is returning from Iraq six months earlier than expected. All units of the regiment are scheduled to be home by the end of August.

The public is invited to be at the Smyrna training site this Saturday, Building 681, to welcome the Guardsmen home.