Governor Sarah Palin is in Kosovo visiting approximately 140 Alaska Army National Guard aviators who are deployed for 12 months on a peacekeeping mission.
The 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment is providing aviation support with UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to U.S. forces and coalition forces. This is an air assault mission in which the unit will be tasked with various duties including passenger and cargo airlift, external sling load deliveries, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. "I am happy to pass on the message of sincere thanks from all Alaskans," Governor Palin said. "We are so proud of their service."
A part of Governor Palin's duties while she is in country is to inspect the troops and ascertain how the experience in Kosovo will better prepare these service members for missions within Alaska and future deployments overseas.
"As commander-in-chief, Governor Palin is the one we look to for leadership and inspiration while serving and defending the sovereign boundaries of Alaska," said Lt. Gen. (AK) Craig E. Campbell, Adjutant General of the Alaska National Guard. "We thank the commanding general of the Multi-National Task Force East for the invitation to visit and for his hospitality while in country."
The 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation is the most deployed unit in the Alaska National Guard, having previously deployed elements to Kosovo in 2004, as well as fulfilling missions in Iraq, Guatemala, Haiti and Honduras.