Adjutant General Douglas Farnham greets a 488th soldier while deplaning in Bangor. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Alyson Pelletier

One hundred twenty five soldiers of the 488th Military Police Company are in the process of returning from the Southwest border through their demobilization station. Forty-six soldiers arrived by charter flight at the Army Aviation Support Facility last week and were greeted by family, friends, National Guard leaders and fellow service members.

“I am proud of the performance, dedication, and discipline the soldiers of the 488th showed during it’s 13-month deployment,” Capt. Garrett Clark, commander of the 488th said in an email. “Our unit represented the State of Maine, the National Guard, and the U.S. Army in a positive light, creating lasting impressions on Customs and Border Protection, the local community, and Army leadership. We are thankful for the support shown by our families and friends, and are happy to be home for the holidays.”

The remainder of the unit, to include Clark, is expected to travel by a combination of individual commercial and charter flights, depending on how quickly soldiers are able to process through their demobilization station.

“On behalf of all Maine people, I am proud to welcome these brave men and women home and to thank them for their service which has kept our state and nation safe,” said Governor Janet Mills, according to the email. “My deepest gratitude is also with the Maine service members who remain deployed around the world. I look forward to welcoming you home safely soon.”

“Congratulations to the 488th, we’ve been looking forward to seeing them all safely home,” said Adjutant General Douglas Farnham. “Their successful mission is the latest in Maine’s consistent support to the active services. I continue to be proud of the National Guard’s ability to respond to varying assignments, which would not be possible without the support and flexibility of family members and employers across the state of Maine — the ultimate team effort.”

The unit departed in October 2021 on a federal Title 10 mobilization in support of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The 488th assisted CBP by operating vehicle-mounted mobile surveillance platforms and remote video surveillance systems, then relaying critical information to law enforcement authorities.

It is anticipated that the majority if not all of the unit will be home by Thanksgiving, and not later than the end of the month for any final travelers. National Guard leaders will be on standby to greet individual arrivals.

The 488th Military Police Company was formed in September of 2008, previously deployed to Afghanistan in 2012, and supported Washington, D.C. authorities following the 2021 Presidential Inauguration. The unit trains and validates annually as a National Guard Reaction Force, making them able to mobilize quickly in support of local, state, and federal law enforcement and other civil authorities.

 

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