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News from the Oklahoma National Guard

NEWS | Feb. 20, 2024

Task Force Tomahawk returns to US after deployment to Horn of Africa

By Anthony Jones, Oklahoma National Guard

FORT BLISS, Texas -- The more than 1,000 Oklahoma, Nebraska and Indiana National Guard Citizen-Soldiers of Task Force Tomahawk are safely back on American soil after their nine-month deployment to the Horn of Africa.

Members of Task Force Tomahawk arrive at Fort Bliss, Texas, Feb. 18, 2024, for demobilization following a nine-month deployment to the Horn of Africa. Task Force Tomahawk is made up of units of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team - primarily of the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment as well as companies from the 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment (Airborne). TF Tomahawk was responsible for security at multiple locations across several countries in the Horn of Africa as well as manning the East African Response Force. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Anthony Jones)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240218-Z-RH707-1006 Members of Task Force Tomahawk arrive at Fort Bliss, Texas, Feb. 18, 2024, for demobilization following a nine-month deployment to the Horn of Africa. Task Force Tomahawk is made up of units of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team - primarily of the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment as well as companies from the 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment (Airborne). TF Tomahawk was responsible for security at multiple locations across several countries in the Horn of Africa as well as manning the East African Response Force. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Anthony Jones)
Members of Task Force Tomahawk arrive at Fort Bliss, Texas, Feb. 18, 2024, for demobilization following a nine-month deployment to the Horn of Africa. Task Force Tomahawk is made up of units of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team - primarily of the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment as well as companies from the 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment (Airborne). TF Tomahawk was responsible for security at multiple locations across several countries in the Horn of Africa as well as manning the East African Response Force. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Anthony Jones)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240218-Z-RH707-1013 Members of Task Force Tomahawk arrive at Fort Bliss, Texas, Feb. 18, 2024, for demobilization following a nine-month deployment to the Horn of Africa. Task Force Tomahawk is made up of units of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team - primarily of the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment as well as companies from the 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment (Airborne). TF Tomahawk was responsible for security at multiple locations across several countries in the Horn of Africa as well as manning the East African Response Force. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Anthony Jones)

 
Members of Task Force Tomahawk arrive at Fort Bliss, Texas, Feb. 18, 2024, for demobilization following a nine-month deployment to the Horn of Africa. Task Force Tomahawk is made up of units of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team - primarily of the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment as well as companies from the 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment (Airborne). TF Tomahawk was responsible for security at multiple locations across several countries in the Horn of Africa as well as manning the East African Response Force. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Anthony Jones)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240218-Z-RH707-1010 Members of Task Force Tomahawk arrive at Fort Bliss, Texas, Feb. 18, 2024, for demobilization following a nine-month deployment to the Horn of Africa. Task Force Tomahawk is made up of units of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team - primarily of the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment as well as companies from the 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment (Airborne). TF Tomahawk was responsible for security at multiple locations across several countries in the Horn of Africa as well as manning the East African Response Force. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Anthony Jones)
Lt. Col. Brent Weece, commander, Task Force Tomahawk, (right) shakes hands with Lt. Col. Micheal Scanlon, state operations officer, Oklahoma Army National Guard at Fort Bliss, Texas, Feb. 18, 2024, after Weece returns from a nine-month deployment to the Horn of Africa. Task Force Tomahawk is made up of units of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team - primarily of the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment as well as companies from the 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment (Airborne). TF Tomahawk was responsible for security at multiple locations across several countries in the Horn of Africa as well as manning the East African Response Force. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Anthony Jones)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240218-Z-RH707-1001 Lt. Col. Brent Weece, commander, Task Force Tomahawk, (right) shakes hands with Lt. Col. Micheal Scanlon, state operations officer, Oklahoma Army National Guard at Fort Bliss, Texas, Feb. 18, 2024, after Weece returns from a nine-month deployment to the Horn of Africa. Task Force Tomahawk is made up of units of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team - primarily of the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment as well as companies from the 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment (Airborne). TF Tomahawk was responsible for security at multiple locations across several countries in the Horn of Africa as well as manning the East African Response Force. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Anthony Jones)
Capt. Jeremiah Smith, a member of Task Force Tomahawk, shakes hands with Col. Andrew Ballenger, commander, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, as Smith arrives at Fort Bliss, Texas, Feb. 18, 2024, following a nine-month deployment to the Horn of Africa. Task Force Tomahawk is made up of units of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team - primarily of the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment as well as companies from the 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment (Airborne). TF Tomahawk was responsible for security at multiple locations across several countries in the Horn of Africa as well as manning the East African Response Force. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Anthony Jones)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240218-Z-RH707-1004 Capt. Jeremiah Smith, a member of Task Force Tomahawk, shakes hands with Col. Andrew Ballenger, commander, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, as Smith arrives at Fort Bliss, Texas, Feb. 18, 2024, following a nine-month deployment to the Horn of Africa. Task Force Tomahawk is made up of units of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team - primarily of the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment as well as companies from the 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment (Airborne). TF Tomahawk was responsible for security at multiple locations across several countries in the Horn of Africa as well as manning the East African Response Force. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Anthony Jones)
Capt. Jeremiah Smith, a member of Task Force Tomahawk, shakes hands with Col. Andrew Ballenger, commander, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, as Smith arrives at Fort Bliss, Texas, Feb. 18, 2024, following a nine-month deployment to the Horn of Africa. Task Force Tomahawk is made up of units of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team - primarily of the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment as well as companies from the 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment (Airborne). TF Tomahawk was responsible for security at multiple locations across several countries in the Horn of Africa as well as manning the East African Response Force. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Anthony Jones)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240218-Z-RH707-1003 Members of Task Force Tomahawk arrive at Fort Bliss, Texas, Feb. 18, 2024, for demobilization following a nine-month deployment to the Horn of Africa. Task Force Tomahawk is made up of units of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team - primarily of the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment as well as companies from the 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment (Airborne). TF Tomahawk was responsible for security at multiple locations across several countries in the Horn of Africa as well as manning the East African Response Force. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Anthony Jones)
Members of Task Force Tomahawk arrive at Fort Bliss, Texas, Feb. 18, 2024, for demobilization following a nine-month deployment to the Horn of Africa. Task Force Tomahawk is made up of units of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team - primarily of the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment as well as companies from the 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment (Airborne). TF Tomahawk was responsible for security at multiple locations across several countries in the Horn of Africa as well as manning the East African Response Force. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Anthony Jones)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240218-Z-RH707-10012 Members of Task Force Tomahawk arrive at Fort Bliss, Texas, Feb. 18, 2024, for demobilization following a nine-month deployment to the Horn of Africa. Task Force Tomahawk is made up of units of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team - primarily of the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment as well as companies from the 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment (Airborne). TF Tomahawk was responsible for security at multiple locations across several countries in the Horn of Africa as well as manning the East African Response Force. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Anthony Jones)
Col. Andrew Ballenger, commander, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oklahoma Army National Guard, greets Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Peck at Fort Bliss, Texas, Feb. 18, 2024. Peck, along with other members of Task Force Tomahawk returned to Fort Bliss for demobilization after a nine-month deployment to the Horn of Africa. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Anthony Jones)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240218-Z-RH707-1001 Col. Andrew Ballenger, commander, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oklahoma Army National Guard, greets Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Peck at Fort Bliss, Texas, Feb. 18, 2024. Peck, along with other members of Task Force Tomahawk returned to Fort Bliss for demobilization after a nine-month deployment to the Horn of Africa. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Anthony Jones)


Over the last few weeks, members of TF Tomahawk arrived at Fort Bliss, Texas for demobilization and will soon head to their home states where families and friends eagerly await their loved ones’ return.

The Citizen-Soldiers were greeted at Fort Bliss by Oklahoma National Guard leaders including Col. Andrew Ballenger, commander, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team who welcomed the returning troops and congratulated them for their hard work and dedication to duty while deployed overseas.

Task Force Tomahawk is made up of units of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team - primarily of the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment but including companies from the 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment (Airborne) - and was responsible for security at multiple locations across several countries in the Horn of Africa as well as manning the East African Response Force.

“It’s always great to be here and welcome our Soldiers back home,” Ballenger said. “I’d also like to offer a sincere ‘thank you’ to the Guard families and employers who supported their Soldiers during this deployment. Their support has made this moment possible.”

Video by Staff Sgt. Reece Heck
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Oklahoma National Guard
March 12, 2024 | 2:33
Future of drone defense takes flight at inaugural Oklahoma National Guard Counter-UAS Symposium at Oklahoma State University’s Hamm Institute for American Energy in Oklahoma City, March 12-13, 2024. The symposium addressed the evolving landscape of warfare and security challenges posed by UAS technology, including the integration of artificial intelligence, countering the UAS threat and countless other emerging advancements. (Oklahoma National Guard video by Staff Sgt. Reece Heck

CG: Information:
Jamey Jacob, Ph.D., P.E.
Director, Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research & Education
(00:17-00:24)
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