New York Adjutant General, Major General Patrick Murphy, greets soldiers from the 827th Engineers as they disembark at Elmira Corning Regional Airport on February 16.
HORSEHEADS, NY (02/16/2011) (readMedia) – Soldiers from the New York Army National Guard’s 827th Engineer Company returned home on Wednesday, February 16, after 10 months of road repairs and construction of checkpoints in Afghanistan.
The 160 Soldiers were greeted by Major General Patrick Murphy, New York Adjutant General, New York State Command Sgt. Major Robert Van Pelt and other Chiefs of the Guard as they disembarked from a charter plane at Elmira Corning Regional Airport shortly before 11 a.m.
As the soldiers stood in formation and the accents of “The Army Song” were played by a group of New York Guardsmen, the hangar doors were lifted and the men and women of the 827th were face to face with their family and friends. again before they run to be reunited.
The soldiers of the 827th performed incredibly well during the mission, said Captain Jeffrey Miles, commander of the 827th.
“We have doubled the workload of our predecessors,” said Miles.
The 827th Engineers served with Task Force Red Dragon and the 1092nd Engineer Battalion. The task force, based at Forward Operating Base Shoran in eastern Afghanistan, provided engineer support to 25 different locations across the country. The unit was part of Regional Command East, covering 13 provinces in eastern Afghanistan.
The unit took part in a number of combined arms operations with maneuver units of the 101st Airborne Division pushing into known Taliban strongholds. These missions included rapid road repairs, construction of new bases and checkpoints, and damaged vehicle recovery operations.
Part of their job was to plug security loopholes by building checkpoints and bases to reduce the enemy’s ability to maneuver, Miles explained. There were fewer indirect fire attacks and increased security when these installations were completed, he said.
The soldiers worked on projects at 45 different sites and conducted approximately 120 combat movements in eastern Afghanistan.
Almost half of the unit was recognized for combat service, including 70 Combat Action Badge recipients, two Purple Hearts and seven Bronze Star Medal recipients.
Miles praised the company’s family members for maintaining the home front while their soldiers were deployed.
“It’s amazing. Families have been through so much this year,” Miles said. “They weren’t getting shot or receiving IEDs, but they were just as into the fight.”
The company received additional soldiers for their deployment from the 204th Engineer Battalion located in Binghamton and the 152nd Engineer Company located in Buffalo.
The 827th is headquartered at Horseheads but also has a detachment at Walton.