250 New York National Guard troops back home from Kuwait deployment
NEW YORK, NY (07/08/2017) (readMedia)-- 250 New York Army National Guard Soldiers are back in New York after serving in Kuwait for 10 months.
The Soldiers are members of the 369th Sustainment Brigade which was responsible for logistics support of American forces throughout the Middle East from November, 2016 until last month.
The Soldiers returned to locations across New York from Fort Hood, Texas, where they were out processing on July 8-9. The unit was mobilized on Sept. 7, 2016.
The bulk of the Soldiers are from the New York City area, but Soldiers were assigned to the unit from across the state. An Army sustainment brigade can assume command and control of support and logistics battalions and associated elements and support from one to ten combat brigades.
The 369th Sustainment Brigade is nicknamed the Harlem Hell Fighters and carries the lineage of the African-American 369th Infantry Regiment which fought with distinction in World War I.
The 369th oversaw sustainment operations in nine countries throughout the Middle East, in support of allied and coalition forces and also combat operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
"The Hell Fighters have lived up to their call sign and then some. They have been through one of the toughest missions given to a sustainment brigade," said New York Army National Guard Col. Stephen M. Bousquet, brigade commander, during the unit's transfer of authority ceremony on June 26 in Kuwait.
"They sustained the forces throughout the Middle East in nine countries and at 20 different locations, providing support to joint U.S. and Coalition forces. Their work ethic was unmatched and their dedication was unparalleled," he said.
The 369th Sustainment Brigade Headquarters is based at the 5th Avenue Armory in Harlem. The unit is temporarily occupying training facilities at Camp Smith, N.Y., near Peekskill, while their headquarters armory undergoes major renovations.
The 369th Sustainment Brigade was originally organized as the 15th Regiment of the New York National Guard in 1915 as a unit for African American Soldiers in a segregated Army. When the 15th New York was federalized in 1917 and sent to France the unit was renumbered as the 369th Infantry Regiment.
The brigade celebrates its centennial service in WWI this year.
Albany native Henry Johnson who became famous for defeating a German patrol during an engagement in May 1918, was a member of the 369th. President Obama awarded Johnson the Medal of Honor for those actions in June 2015.