More than 300 soldiers were welcomed home by family and supporters of the troops at Delaware State University Stadium in Dover April 13.
The battalion, composed of Headquarters Company and Company C from Wilmington, and Company A from Georgetown, was scheduled for a 12-month active-duty tour. After successful completion of their missions in Afghanistan, the 198th sent soldiers home in four different phases. Some returned four to five months early. The 198th is also known as The First Regiment of the First State. They are Delaware's oldest unit, with citizen soldiers serving in 36 battles and campaigns.
The Delaware National Guard hosted Dr. Jill Biden. Sen. Tom Carper, Sen. Chris Coons and Rep. John Carney Carper attended and spoke to the troops of the 198th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, consisting of members of the Wilmington and Georgetown first regiment of Delaware.
In Afghanistan, the battalion provided communications including the support and management of four regional network control centers, theater-wide tactical communications support missions and enterprise-level help desk support. They also helped with deconstruction efforts that return many bases to the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as U.S. forces prepare to eventually redeploy from Afghanistan.
"I will never get tired of welcoming home our soldiers," said Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala, adjutant general, Delaware National Guard. "The 198th performed admirably in their Afghan mission, and we are thrilled to have them all back home safely."