More than 40 Oklahoma National Guard soldiers will return from Afghanistan Thursday, military officials announced Tuesday.
The soldiers are with the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and will be the second group of soldiers to return to Oklahoma because of a “surge reduction” that was mandated by the Department of Defense. About 33 Oklahoma Guardsmen were the first to return to U.S. soil as part of the reduction on Dec. 15. The majority of the Brigade is expected to return in March.
The soldiers are expected to arrive at the Norman Armed Forces Reserve Center on the east side of Interstate 35 at Tecumseh Road in Norman at 10 a.m. Thursday.
Officials said nearly 2,200 Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen from the 45th deployed to Afghanistan in June and are currently serving there. An additional 800 Oklahoma Guardsman from the 45th deployed to Kuwait at the same time.
Photo by Michael Wyke: Becca Zabinski hugs Derek Zabinski after he steps off the plane as he and 100 members of the Oklahoma Air National Guard’s 138th Fighter Wing return from a two month deployment in Iraq to the air base in Tulsa, Okla.