An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Vermont National Guard Logo News
News | March 14, 2022

86th IBCT (MTN) completes KFOR mission

By Capt. Mikel Arcovitch Joint Force Headquarters - Vermont National Guard Public Affairs

The 29th U.S. deployment to Kosovo Force (KFOR) is at an end, and with it comes reflection and a glance at what is next. For the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain), the sky is the limit.

The KFOR Regional Command - East (RC-E) mission is commanded by Col. Brey Hopkins of the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (MTN) out of Jericho, Vermont. In addition to the brigade headquarters, 1st Squadron, 172nd Cavalry (MTN), with units in Lyndon, Newport, Bennington, and St. Albans, is also ending its tour as part of RC-E (the Lyndon team was on a separate deployment). 

“Operationally, I couldn’t be prouder of what we did here as part of KFOR29,” said Col. Hopkins. “The output we were able to create was truly remarkable. When you look at the number of patrols conducted by U.S., Latvian, Polish and Turkish Soldiers, to the women for women training we put on with Task Force Medical and our civil military engagement coordinator, to our liaison monitoring teams meeting and working across our AO, and many other coordinated efforts, you are looking at a deliberate and sustained effort by our Soldiers here in Regional Command - East.”

KFOR29 arrived in Kosovo in July, and Soldiers will be home by the end of March. During the rotation, they combated wildfires in Kosovo and participated in the Best Mountain Warrior Competition and Operation Rehearsal Exercise Level II.

“This brigade has so much potential,” said Hopkins. “The varying missions this deployment has posed across multiple combatant commands, to include significant support to the evacuation from Afghanistan, have been nothing short of remarkable,” said Hopkins. “I really could not be prouder of the efforts of all our Soldiers.”

Vermont is also home to the Army Mountain Warfare School and has played a significant role in Guerrier Nordiques — training Soldiers how to operate and survive in frigid temperatures. Both are critical elements of Army plans. 

“The Vermont Army National Guard is uniquely positioned with the Army Mountain Warfare School and continuous participation in the Arctic,” said Hopkins. “Service members from across the military should take the winter phase of the warfare school. It is an exceptional school and teaches critical winter survival and operational skills that are meaningful for missions in the cold.

“The Arctic missions have Soldiers working with other military members from different services and countries,“ he said. “Given the recent publication of the U.S. Army Arctic Warfare Strategy, the 86th IBCT (MTN), as the only mountain trained and equipped BCT in the U.S. Army, is superbly postured for continued relevance.”

Soldiers from Vermont, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts and many other states are poised to return home in the coming weeks. 

Whether it’s COVID-19 response, federal deployments overseas, support in Washington, D.C., joint training through the State Partnership Program or with Canadian soldiers in the Artic, Soldiers from Vermont and all the states that comprise the 86th IBCT (MTN) remain ready. 

“I can’t wait to see what this brigade does next,” Hopkins said.

National Guard News
From left, Senior Enlisted Advisor Tony Whitehead, SEA to the chief, National Guard Bureau; Sgt. Maj. Alan Thomas, operations sergeant major, Indiana National Guard; Chief Warrant Officer 3 Regina Carrell, a senior strategic intelligence analyst at the National Guard Bureau, and Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief, National Guard Bureau, at the Black Engineer of the Year Award Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Stars and Stripes dinner and reception, Baltimore, Maryland, Feb. 16, 2024. The National Guard Bureau was the featured military organization of the 2024 Stars and Stripes event.
Hokanson at BEYA STEM Conference: Become everything you are in the National Guard
By Sgt. 1st Class Zach Sheely, | Feb. 17, 2024
BALTIMORE – Science, technology, engineering and mathematics will be the foundations for solving today’s and tomorrow’s problems, the National Guard’s top officer told an audience of students, cadets, corporate executives and...

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh, director, Air National Guard, speaks during his Order of the Sword induction ceremony at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Feb. 15, 2024.
Air National Guard Director Inducted into Order of the Sword
By Master Sgt. Chelcee Arnold and Tech. Sgt. Sarah McClanahan, | Feb. 16, 2024
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh, director, Air National Guard, was inducted into the Order of the Sword at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs Feb. 15.The Order of the Sword...

205th Base Defense Squadron Airmen pose in front of an MRZR off-road vehicle. Ten Airmen from the 105th Airlift Wing’s 205th Base Defense Squadron participated in Exercise Red Flag Jan. 15-26, 2024, training in the field on essential security forces concepts.
105th Airmen Support Security Forces Training at Red Flag
By 1st Lt. Briana Ross, | Feb. 16, 2024
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. - Ten Airmen from the 105th Airlift Wing’s 205th Base Defense Squadron trained in cutting-edge base defense operational concepts at Exercise Red Flag 24-1 from Jan. 15-26.Exercise Red Flag was...

Brig. Gen. Mark Alessia, Illinois National Guard, salutes after placing a wreath at the tomb of former President Abraham Lincoln on behalf of the president of the United States Feb. 12, 2024, as part of the 90th annual American Legion Pilgrimage to Lincoln’s Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois.
Illinois National Guard Honors Former Guardsman Abe Lincoln
By Barbara Wilson, | Feb. 15, 2024
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The Illinois National Guard recognized its most notable militiaman and 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, during a ceremony at his tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery Feb. 12, the 215th...

Soldiers from the Guam National Guard’s Bravo Company, 1-294th Infantry Regiment (Chamorri Battalion), activated as Team Binadu under Task Force Talon, help Adacao Elementary School prepare for inspection Feb. 7, 2024. Team Binadu looks to perform as much community service as possible while mobilized to secure Guam’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense.
Guam Guard Helps Elementary School Recover from Typhoon
By Mark Scott, | Feb. 15, 2024
DEDEDO, Guam – About 50 Soldiers and family members from the Guam National Guard’s Team Binadu gathered at Adacao Elementary School Feb. 3 with ladders, lawn tools, paintbrushes and a desire to serve. Led by Capt. Tom...