76 NY National Guard Soldiers return to Niagara Falls from Ukraine mission on Thursday. Aug. 23

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A NY Army National Guard Soldier returning from a training mission in the Ukraine hugs his son after landing at Nigara Falls Air Reserve Station on Aug. 2, 2018. ( MSG Brandy Fowler)

NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION (08/22/2018) (readMedia)-- Seventy-six New York Army National Guard Soldiers who have been part of a NATO mission to train Ukrainian Soldiers will return to New York this afternoon, Thursday, August 23, at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

The Soldiers left New York on the mission on October 2, 2017. Ninety-five Soldier returned from the mission to Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on August 2. Other Soldiers who deployed are returning to New York City via commercial airliner.

Members of the media are welcome to cover the Soldiers return to New York.

WHO: 76 Soldiers assigned to the 2nd Squadron 101st Cavalry, headquartered at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station and with elements in Jamestown, Buffalo, and Geneva; and members of the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, headquartered in Syracuse.

WHAT: The final element of 220 Soldiers who served as part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, return to New York from Fort Bliss, Texas where they have been out processing after 10 months on federal active duty, will return to New York. The remaining Soldiers are expected home towards the end of August.

WHEN: 1:50 p.m., Thursday, August 23, 2018: Members of the media must be at the Lockport Road Gate No Later than 1:10 p.m. in order to be in position to cover the arrival of the aircraft which could be between 1:50 and 2:30 p.m.

WHERE: Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, Niagara Falls, N.Y., Lockport Road Gate.

Members of the media must contact Staff Sgt. Ryan Campbell later than noon August 23 at 716-697-5596 or call Master Sgt. Brandy Fowler at 716-253-0071 for access to this secure military facility.


The New York National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group- Ukraine worked with NATO troops from Canada, Denmark, Lithuania, Poland and the United Kingdom to assist Ukrainian Army troops training at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center near the City of Livov, Ukraine.

Under the command of Col. Dennis Deeley the New York National Guard troops helped oversee training for Approximately 2,000 Ukrainian Soldiers organized into four battalion training groups.

The Ukrainian soldiers trained on computer simulators and in the field.

The American Soldiers help their Ukrainian counterparts plan and execute training missions.

The Soldiers deployed from New York to Fort Bliss, Texas on October 2, 2017 and after a month of training at Fort Bliss 60 Soldiers deployed to the Army's training center on Grafenwoehr, Bavaria, Germany for training with the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command.

The New York National Guard team took over the mission from Oklahoma National Guard troops on Nov. 22.

They handed over the mission to troops of the Tennessee Army National Guard's 278th Armored Cavalry Squadron on August 8, 2018.

The New York National Guard team will turn the mission over to elements from the Tennessee Army National Guard's 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment.

Unfortunately, the unit lost Specialist Joseph Nelk, age 21, a resident of Pittsford, who died unexpectedly of natural causes. Nelk was a member of the 2nd Squadron 101st Cavalry who had enlisted in the New York Army National Guard in March, 2015.