First group of Soldiers from Task Force Normandy return to Virginia

Posted at 9:30 PM, Jul 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-19 21:30:41-04

The first group of Soldiers assigned to Task Force Normandy have returned Virginia on July 19 after serving on active duty since September 2015.

Over 450 Soldiers from units based in Winchester, Woodstock, Leesburg and Suffolk deployed to Qatar as part of a security mission.

“I’m very proud of the unit and the Soldiers of Task Force Normandy,” said Lt. Col. Kurt Kobernik, commander of the battalion. “Their sacrifice and dedication to duty is humbling, and their performance in their jobs was nothing less than remarkable. They left their jobs, school and families with less than 90 days notice, and they improved the force protection at all three of our bases and maintained a positive attitude, which allowed us to accomplish things that most people told us could not be done.”

Soldiers searched nearly 140,000 vehicles and more than 303,000 people. Task Force Normandy was praised for making improvements to base security plans.

No Soldiers in the battalion were killed or seriously wounded in action.

The unit rigorously trainined on core infantry skills. Every Solider in the battalion took part in short range and advanced rifle marksman training.

“The ability of our Soldiers to train to squad level proficiency and execute team and squad level live fire exercises is pretty impressive,” Kobernik said. “They executed the first-ever mortar life fire exercise by a U.S. unit in Qatar. Most importantly, I’m proud of their ability to maintain their professionalism and carry out a monotonous and often thankless responsibility.”

Soldiers also earned 727 college credits and finished 16,553 military education courses.