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Community to welcome home deployed troops

MONTEVIDEO -- Community, friends and family of the Montevideo-based Minnesota Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery will gather Friday for a welcome home celebration and to welcome the new battalion commander, Lt. Col. Lowell Kruse at 5 p.m. Friday at the Montevideo Training and Community Center.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Adjutant General Larry Shellito are among those scheduled to attend the event.

More than 550 soldiers from 1-151 FA returned in March following their 12-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The battalion was headquartered at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, and it provided convoy security for logistical supply convoys from Kuwait to Forward Operating Bases throughout Iraq.

1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery's notable accomplishments from this deployment include:

- Successfully completed 591 combat missions traveling more than 1.9 million miles without accident or injury.

- Sustained an operational readiness rate of 99.63 percent throughout their deployment.

- Received the 1st Theater Sustainment Command Safety A ward.

- Conducted 127 soldier reenlistments while deployed.

There are five major units in the 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery: Headquarters and Headquarters Battery in Montevideo, A Battery in Marshall, B Battery in Madison and Olivia, C Battery in Morris and Ortonville and the 175th Forward Support Company in Appleton.