LATHAM, NY (12/14/2018) (readMedia)-- Seventeen New York Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to the Glenville, N.Y.-based 501st Ordnance Battalion have returned from a nine month deployment to Afghanistan today, Dec. 14.
The Soldiers returned from Afghanistan to Fort Bliss, Texas on December 5. They deployed to Afghanistan in mid-March. They returned to locations across New York and other states.
Nine Soldiers returned to the Capitol Region earlier today.
The 501st is an explosive ordnance disposal battalion. The seventeen Soldiers manned the headquarters of Task Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal and were responsible for oversight of explosive disposal (EOD) teams operating in 20 Afghan provinces.
The New York Army National Guard Soldiers commanded five United States Army EOD units, two United State Air Force EOD teams and one EOD team from the Czech Republic.
They were also responsible for providing advice on explosive ordnance disposal operations to United States Forces Afghanistan.
Based at the Glenville, N.Y. Armed Forces Reserve Center the 501st serves as higher headquarters for the New York Army National Guard's 1108th EOD Company, also based at the Glenville center, along with EOD companies in Greenville, North Carolina; Camp Edward, Massachusetts;, Camp Dawson, West Virginia; and Camp Grayling, Michigan.
The 501st also deployed to Iraq in the fall of 2010, serving there for nine months. During the battalion's deployment in Iraq the unit was responsible for counter-IED operations in nine provinces of southern Iraq, a region of about 81,000-square miles.
The 501st traces its roots back to the New York National Guard's historic 105th Infantry Regiment, known as the "Appleknockers," because historically the Soldiers of the regiment worked in the apple orchards of the Hudson Valley as civilians.
The regiment fought in World War I and World War II before converting to an EOD battalion in 2005.
The 501st also serves as the higher headquarters for the New York Army National Guard's 1427th Transportation Company and 466th Area Medical Company.