December 17, 2013

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Stewart guardsmen return after six-month deployment in Afghanistan

Tech Sgt. Michael Pacenza, gets a hug from his son
(Photo: Sgt. Michael OHalloran)

TOWN OF NEWBURGH – Twenty-three members of the New York Air National Guard’s 105th Base Defense Squadron returned home to the Stewart base on Sunday following a six-month deployment in Afghanistan.  This was the fifth rotation of 105th Base Defense Squadron members to Afghanistan.

The airmen conducted security operations at Bagram Airfield, included conducting counter-insurgency operations throughout Parwan Province in conjunction with other forces from the International Support Assistance Force and the Afghan National Army and police elements.

The airmen were welcomed home by base Commander Col. Timothy LaBarge.

One member, Staff Sgt. Todd Lobraico, Jr., was killed in action while on patrol September 5.  Four airmen who were injured during combat operations returned to the Stewart base earlier.

Members of the 105th Base Defense Squadron were awarded a number of Combat Action medals as well as 11 Purple Hearts and two Amy Achievement medals.


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