1st CAV Troopers Conclude Support for Operation Allies Welcome23 January, 2022
Maj. Marcellus L. Simmons
Fort Hood, TX – The final 300 Troopers from 2nd Battalion 12th Cavalry Regiment “Thunderhorse,” 1st Cavalry Division returned to Fort Hood on Jan 15, concluding the First Team’s support to Operation Allies Welcome.
In October, 2-12 Cav deployed over 600 Soldiers to Camp Atterbury, Indiana as “Task Force Thunderhorse” to support the Department of Homeland Security, Department of State and other U.S. government agencies with the resettlement of thousands of vulnerable Afghans within the United States. The Thunderhorse team assumed responsibility for the mission from another 1st CAV Division unit, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment (Task Force Ghost) who deployed last August following the departure of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
“It is a great privilege to take part in an extremely important mission such as this” said Lt. Col. Damasio Davila, commander 2-12 Cav.
For Troopers who served on deployments in Afghanistan, Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) helped to add closure to the Afghan mission and showed a continued partnership with Afghans who supported the U.S./NATO mission in Afghanistan.
“We have such a unique opportunity to represent our nation, and display good will and hospitality. The Thunderhorse team is honored to support Operation Allies Welcome,” Lt. Col. Davila added.
Over the past four months, Task Force Thunderhorse Troopers maintained a safe living area in a temporary housing village for Afghan guests going through the resettlement process. They also provided other types of essential services including transportation, medical screening, and food services.
While supporting this mission, many Thunderhorse Troopers spent Thanksgiving and Christmas away from their own families. In order to maintain holiday spirit and good morale, Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson and Command Sgt. Maj. Shade S. Munday, the 1st Cavalry Division Command Team, visited the Troopers over the holidays at Camp Atterbury.
“It was great to have Pegasus 6 and Pegasus 9 visit the Troopers of Task Force Thunderhorse at Camp Atterbury while supporting Operation Allies Welcome,” Davila added. “We appreciate their time and look forward to getting back home to the Great Place.”
Troopers from the 1st Cav Division began deploying to different parts of the U.S. including Dulles International Airport, Fort Bliss, TX and Camp Atterbury, IN to support the OAW mission at the end of August after the departure of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
Camp Atterbury, located in Johnson County, Indiana, was one of eight U.S. military bases designated to be a “safe haven,” offering temporary refuge for Afghans while they awaited permanent resettlement across the U.S.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, to date, more than 52,000 Afghan evacuees have been resettled in communities across the country to date. These resettlement efforts are led by the Department of State in close coordination with more than 290 local resettlement affiliates.
For more information on this program, please contact the Department of Homeland Security Public Affairs National Joint Information Center at NJIC@HQ.DHS.GOV or the Northern Command Public Affairs media office at (719) 554-6899/N-NCPA.OMB@mail.mil.