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194th Engineer Brigade Returns from Deployment

Thursday, September 17, 2020 | 06:13pm

SMYRNA, Tenn. – Approximately 116 Soldiers from the Tennessee National Guard’s 194th Engineer Brigade has returned home after a successful deployment to the Middle East. Before returning to Tennessee, the Soldiers conducted a two-week quarantine period and a de-mobilization process in Fort Bliss, Texas.

Based out of Jackson, the 194th was activated October 2019 and has spent the last 10 months as the U.S. Central Command Theater Engineer Brigade Headquarters, performing the functions of a corps level engineering strategic assist. They were responsible for directing the efforts of 3,400 Soldiers conducting engineering operations and projects in eight different countries throughout the U.S. Army Central Command area of operations in the Middle East region. They served as an integral part of Operation Inherent Resolve, Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Freedom Sentinel, making this deployment especially historic. With the COVID-19 pandemic peaking during their deployment, daily operations became trickier, but the mission was greatly successful.

“While dealing with COVID-19 certainly proved challenging, this is a mission-oriented team who met those challenges through their care and concern for one another,” said Col. Warner A. Ross II, Brigade Commander. “We dealt with the constraints and restrictions of COVID by constantly adjusting our safety protocols to ensure we were mitigating exposure risks and developing contingency plans. This team was determined to finish the deployment strong and they did just that.”

“The 194th successfully continued a proud legacy of serving as the ‘Theater Engineer Brigade,’” said Ross. “Throughout the deployment our engineers served at the tip of the spear engaged in efforts supporting some of the highest priority strategic level missions. I am proud of the professionalism and leadership this team brought to the fight each day.”

Soldiers coming off a commercial plane being greeted by Generals

Soldiers from the 194th Engineer Brigade are greeted by Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, Tennessee’s Adjutant General, and Maj. Gen. Tommy Baker, Deputy Adjutant General, in Nashville, Sept. 17, following a year-long deployment to the middle-east. The Guardsmen have been quarantining and undergoing a demobilization process for two weeks in Texas before being reunited with loved ones in Tennessee. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Timothy Cordeiro)

Soldier hugging family member

Soldiers from the 194th Engineer Brigade are greeted by loved ones at an improvised, drive-thru homecoming ceremony, in Smyrna, Sept. 17, following a year-long deployment to the middle-east. Extra distancing measures were put in place to ensure everyone’s safety, as the Guardsmen have been quarantining and undergoing a demobilization process for two weeks in Texas before returning to Tennessee. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Timothy Cordeiro)