Nearly 400 soldiers from the Wisconsin National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry mobilized for deployment to Afghanistan late last year. Among them were soldiers from Ripon’s National Guard unit.

   They already have conducted hundreds of missions as “guardian angels,” providing force protection for engagements between advisors from the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade, other coalition forces, contractors and Afghan troops.

   The 127th is in uncharted territory for both the National Guard and its parent unit, the 32nd “Red Arrow” Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

   The Appleton-headquartered unit is the first National Guard battalion partnered with one of the Army’s security force assistance brigades, becoming the first Red Arrow unit to deploy to Afghanistan when it arrived in theater last winter.

   The Red Arrow’s previous and numerous deployments since Sept. 11, 2001, have all been to Iraq or Kuwait.

   The mission is historic in many respects.

Read the full story in the Sept. 12, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.