INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indiana National Guard soldiers with the 38th Infantry Division arrived home Monday, April 6, 2020, after a nine-month deployment to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
The 38th Infantry Division sent more than 600 soldiers to assist Task Force Spartan for nine months in May 2019. Their mission helped to provide a U.S. military leadership and command in the Middle East while strengthening defense relationships and building partner capacity.
The Indiana National Guard maintains mission readiness to continuously live their motto: “Always Ready, Always There.” Consistent training, focus and discipline that made the 38th Infantry Division so effective overseas.
“I saw in our leadership, and in our country’s leadership, positive steps that were taken to prevent future [violence] and ensure security in the region,” said 1st Lt. Blake Dull, aide-de-camp to Task Force Spartan’s deputy commanding general of support.
“To see our training, preparation and the execution of that training carried out in the field - it gave me a better understanding and appreciation for the training we do here at home,” added Dull.
With personnel spread out over the Middle East, 38th soldiers had to be effective no matter where their location was in the region.
“Our mission was to help build military power in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and deter any kind of aggression in the theater of operations that was taking place,” said Cpt. Gene Harding, 38th Infantry Division battle captain and chief of operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Despite coming home amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and an additional two-week quarantine in Fort Hood, Texas, these Hoosier soldiers were happy to arrive home and be reunited with their loved ones.
Before their return, 38th Infantry Division yielded Task Force Spartan to the 42nd Infantry Division who will continue to provide support to Operation Spartan Shield.