A community homecoming ceremony for an Iowa National Guard unit will be held at 3 p.m., Saturday, March 18, at the Iowa National Guard’s Des Moines Airbase, 3100 McKinley Ave., Des Moines. Elected officials and Iowa National Guard leadership will participate and the public and media are welcome and encouraged to attend this homecoming ceremony.


Approximately 60 Soldiers from the 185th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion are returning home from their mobilization as part of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. They departed in May 2016 for their mobilization station at Fort Hood, Texas for additional training before deploying to the Central Command theater of operations. The unit was based at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan and provided logistical support throughout the Afghanistan area of operations.


Based at Camp Dodge, Johnston, Iowa, the 185th CSSB’s mission is to command and control logistics units and to provide logistical support in an area of operations. Logistical support could include transportation, maintenance, supplies, water purification and distribution, and fuel distribution.


This unit last deployed in 2010-11 for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and in 2003-04 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. The unit also assisted in the 2013 Presidential inauguration and provided support for Hurricane Gustav relief efforts in Louisiana (2008).


For entrance to the Des Moines Airbase:


Visitors please enter the Des Moines Airbase through the main gate at 3100 McKinley Ave., Des Moines. Photo identification (a valid driver’s license, military ID card or passport are acceptable) is required for admittance to the Des Moines Airbase for individuals 16 years of age and older. As the Des Moines Airbase is a federal facility, all bags and vehicles are subject to search, and all visitors will pass through a metal detector/magnetometer. Note that ALL weapons are prohibited on the Des Moines Airbase.


Also note that ALL motorcyclists (drivers and passengers) on the Des Moines Airbase are required by Department of Defense policy to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) consisting of helmet, eye protection (full-face shield or goggles or sunglasses), gloves, long pants, long-sleeved shirt or jacket, and over-the-ankle footwear. Motorcyclists without the required PPE may park their motorcycles on a nearby public street and walk to the homecoming ceremony (approximately three blocks).


For questions concerning this release as well as additional information about the operations, training, and activities of the Iowa Army and Air National Guard, please contact Col. Greg Hapgood, Iowa National Guard Public Affairs Officer by email at gregory.o.hapgood.mil@mail.mil or (515) 252-4582 (office) or (515) 971-6385 (cell), or contact Master Sgt. Duff E. McFadden at duff.e.mcfadden.mil@mail.mil or (515) 252-4666 (office), or (515) 480-7647 (cell).