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Vermont National Guard soldiers await deployment March 9 in South Burlington. More than 100 soldiers from Vermont are serving in U.S. European, U.S. African and U.S. Central commands.

Vermont National Guard units deployed to U.S. Central Command are currently serving in support of Operation Allies Refuge, the U.S. military operation to airlift selected at-risk Afghan civilians, U.S. embassy employees, and other prospective Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants, from Afghanistan.

A small contingent from the 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry (Mountain), 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain) arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan earlier this month to support security operations at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, according to an Aug. 25 press release from the Vermont National Guard.

Additional units from 3-172 IN (MTN) currently support Special Immigration Visa holders processing through locations within U.S. Central Command.

“Our soldiers from Task Force Avalanche trained and deployed to support their combatant commander in whatever mission they might be assigned,” Maj. Gen. Greg Knight, Vermont’s adjutant general, stated in the release. “While we can’t always predict exactly what that mission may look like, I know our Soldiers are ready and will excel in this important humanitarian mission.”

Task Force Avalanche, which includes soldiers from Vermont, as well as New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Colorado, deployed to locations within U.S. Central Command in February 2021.

Currently, Task Force Avalanche primarily serves Operation Spartan Shield, providing U.S. military personnel and materials in Southwest Asia to strengthen defense relationships and build partnerships.

In addition, units of the 86th IBCT (MTN) deployed to Kosovo in support of U.S. Europe Command are preparing to assist the U.S. Department of State by temporarily housing Special Immigrant Visa holders, if necessary.

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