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Governor Visits Tenn. National Guard Troops Ahead of Deployment

Friday, January 03, 2020 | 04:10pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Tennessee’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, visited with more than 20 Tennessee Army National Guard Soldiers at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Alcoa on January 3, as the Soldiers prepare for an upcoming overseas deployment.

"On behalf of 6.7 million Tennesseans we are forever grateful for your service and sacrifices that you and your families are willing to make for our great state. Thank you for protecting our country, our way of living, our freedom and our liberties that we enjoy every day.” said Lee. “Maria and I will keep you and your families in our daily prayers."

“I am always humbled in the patriotism and the sacrifices made by our Soldiers and their families,” said Holmes. “These Soldiers are some of the best at their very specialized mission and not only within the National Guard, but in the Army as a whole.” 

The deploying Soldiers are from C Company’s Detachment 1 and D Company’s Detachment 3 of the 2-135th Aviation Regiment headquartered in Louisville and will be departing for a 10-month deployment to Kosovo in the coming weeks. They are part of a NATO-led international peacekeeping force known as Kosovo Force (KFOR) that has been serving in the region since 1999.    

“These Soldiers will be conducting an important mission by providing aeromedical evacuation for all NATO forces serving in the region,” said Holmes. “It’s a mission they conduct often here in Tennessee and in other states in support of various state and federal agencies, so they get very proficient at their mission and I think it is a great example of the unique readiness level found in the National Guard.  “We’re very proud of them and we’re equally excited to get our Tennessee Soldiers currently deployed home.”

The unit will depart from Tennessee for Fort Hood, Texas, where they will receive additional mobilization training before arriving in Kosovo.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee shakes hands with a member of the Tenn. Army National Guard’s 2-135th Aviation Regiment

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee shakes hands with a member of the Tenn. Army National Guard’s 2-135th Aviation Regiment headquartered in Louisville during a visit, Friday, January 3, ahead of the unit’s deployment to Kosovo.  (Photo by Tenn. Air Guard Master Sgt. Kendra Owenby)

Governor Bill Lee speaking to Tennessee National Guard Soldiers

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Tennessee’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes (right) visited with members of the 2-135th Aviation Regiment, headquartered in Louisville, Friday, January 3, ahead of the unit’s deployment to Kosovo.  (Photo by Tenn. Air Guard Master Sgt. Kendra Owenby)

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and First Lady Maria along with Tennessee National Guard troops in front of a helicopter

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and First Lady Maria spend time visiting with members of the Tenn. Army National Guard’s 2-135th Aviation Regiment, headquartered in Louisville, Friday, January 3, ahead of the unit’s deployment to Kosovo.  (Photo by Tenn. Air Guard Master Sgt. Kendra Owenby)