Governor LePage, Adjutant General Honor Maine Soldiers for their Service and Sacrifice

April 5, 2013

For Immediate Release: Friday, April 5
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary (207) 287-2531
Major Michael Steinbuchel, Public Affairs Officer Maine National Guard (207) 430-5759

ROCKPORT – To honor Maine’s military men and women returning from overseas, Governor Paul R. LePage attended a freedom salute ceremony Friday at the Samoset Resort in Rockport. The Governor joined Brigadier General James D. Campbell, Adjutant General of the Maine National Guard & Commissioner of the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans, and Emergency Management to publically recognize the sacrifice of soldiers, families, employers and friends that have supported them throughout the deployment.

Eighty-two soldiers of Company C, 1st Battalion 126th Aviation Regiment and the 1968th Contingency Contracting Team returned to Maine in January. The 126th Aviation served a year overseas as a Medical Evacuation helicopter unit. During the deployment, the unit assumed the aero medical evacuation mission for Kuwait from the U.S. Navy. They flew over 1,200 sorties and completed 43 Medical Evacuation missions.

The 1968th Contingency Contracting Team deployed to Afghanistan in March 2012 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During their tour, the 1968th CCT performed various functions under the U.S. Central Command's Joint Theater Support Contingency Contracting Command. The 1968th assisted with providing critically important contracting support to the service members throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. Operating out of camps Heart, Salerno and Shank in Afghanistan, and Camp Doha, Qatar, the 1968th CCT oversaw the execution of more than 400 contracts in excess of 30 million dollars which provided the units in the field with supplies and services that were necessary to accomplish the mission.

During the ceremony the soldiers were reminded of the rich heritage of the Maine National Guard, the appreciation of their state for their service, and the selfless sacrifice an entire family makes when a soldier is deployed.

"This evening we are here to recognize the remarkable accomplishments of your deployment as well as the sacrifice of those who have supported you at home," Governor LePage said. "Although I can never give you all the appreciation you deserve it is important you know how important your service is to our State and Nation. Maine is proud of you and I am proud you.”

Company C, 1st Battalion 126th Aviation Regiment is stationed in Bangor and the 1968th Contingency Contracting Team is stationed in Augusta.

"The men and women in the Maine National Guard are some of the most ready and equipped I have ever seen," said General Campbell. "Your two units here today are among the best in the Country and you should all stand tall and proud to be a part of it."