The Georgia National Guard on Monday postponed a pair of homecoming ceremonies for 48th Brigade Combat Team troops returning from Afghanistan, citing flight delays caused by aircraft maintenance and weather-related issues.
Two ceremonies that were scheduled for today at Fort Stewart will now take place there Tuesday and Wednesday. More 48th troops will be returning through October.
“A number of variables impact flights in and out of the theater of operations. Weather and aircraft maintenance are two of those variables,” Major Gen. Thomas Carden Jr., Georgia’s adjutant general, said in a prepared statement. “We communicate the changes as soon as we know about them. We are sorry for any inconvenience this causes. We are all looking forward to the return of our soldiers. They have done an amazing job!”
MORE: Most of Georgia’s 48th coming home from Afghanistan two months early
About 2,000 of the brigade’s troops deployed to eastern Afghanistan this year and were expected to return in the fall. Instead, most of the brigade is coming home early. The 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division is replacing the 48th, which has been training Afghan troops and police and securing Bagram Air Base north of Kabul.
“The 48th Brigade served with distinction,” Lt. Ubon Mendie, a U.S. military spokesman in Kabul, wrote in an email. “Their service supported setting conditions for a political settlement which safeguard our national interests.”
Now in its 18th year, the fight in Afghanistan — the longest war in American history — has claimed the lives of 2,430 U.S. troops, according to icasualties.org. The 48th has lost one soldier, Spc. Miguel L. Holmes, 22, of Hinesville, who died during a non-combat incident in May. The military has not yet confirmed his cause of death.