Returning soldiers to be welcomed

SPRINGFIELD — The Ohio National Guard will welcome home about 280 soldiers from the 371st Sustainment Brigade, headquartered in Springfield, as they return from a nearly year-long deployment in support of operations in Southwest Asia.

The public is invited to the unit’s welcome home ceremony at 3 p.m. today at First Christian Church, 3638 Middle Urbana Road, Springfield.

The brigade headquarters managed sustainment operations in support of security ooperation, joint exercises and training in the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Area of Responsibility (AOR). Army sustainment brigades manage and supervise the flow of logistics — procurement, maintenance and/or transportation of things such as supplies, services, equipment, ammunition and personnel — throughout a military area of operations (AO). The brigade handled numerous responsibilities, including oversight of millions of dollars in contracts to provide basic life support services to U.S. personnel serving overseas, management of Soldiers in subordinate units working in more than 10 different countries, and processing and delivering all incoming mail throughout CENTCOM, which totaled more than 11 million pounds during the brigade’s deployment.