Colorado National Guard infantry returns from year-long deployment to Middle East

Submitted by Colorado National Guard Public Affairs

The Colorado National Guard welcomed home approximately 75 Colorado Army National Guard warriors from Company A “Attack” 1st Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment (Mountain) at the Colorado Springs Airport, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Dec. 8, 2021.  The unit is comprised of infantry, medics and mechanics who deployed for about one year in support of Operation Spartan Shield in the Middle East. “The Soldiers of Attack Company, working alongside the Vermont (National Guard) mountain battalion and our host nation partners, became well- known and trusted throughout our area of operations,” Attack Company Commander U.S. Army Capt. Brian Howard said. “Not only was this deployment taxing on us and our families for the time away from home, but we also had to endure the effects of the pandemic. I am very proud of the Soldiers, the relationships we developed, and the opportunity to shoulder our share of the mission overseas.” Unit accomplishments include providing six months of security assistance in Saudi Arabia, participating in Operation Inherent Resolve, and sending six Soldiers to assist with the withdrawal of U.S. personnel from Afghanistan.  Unit members also shared best practices about basic infantry skills with nearly 500 Jordan Armed Forces – Arab Army Soldiers from our National Guard State Partnership Program partner, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.  This was the first deployment for Colorado Infantry since World War II, when U.S. Army Lt. Col. Felix Sparks, COARNG, led the 157th Infantry during the liberation of the infamous Dachau concentration camp in Germany. The unit was re-established in Colorado in 2010.   In 2015, the 1-157th Infantry reorganized under the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain), becoming one of only three Infantry battalions in the U.S. Army to be officially designated as Mountain Infantry. From 2016 to 2019, the 10th Mountain Division patch returned to Colorado under an Army pilot program.The 157th is aligned with the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and was assigned to Task Force Avalanche, 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry (MTN), Vermont National Guard.