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Immediate Release

Defense Secretary Makes Thanksgiving Calls to Deployed Service Members

Nov. 24, 2021

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke today over video-teleconference with service members from each branch of the armed forces to wish them a happy Thanksgiving.  Most of these troops were forward-deployed.

The Secretary expressed his appreciation for their service in defense of the nation and in supporting our allies and partners around the world.  He highlighted the professionalism with which these men and women continue to perform their duties and underscored the service and sacrifice of their families as well. 

Below is a list of the units with which he spoke:

111th Engineer Brigade, West Virginia Army National Guard.  While deployed, Soldiers from the 111th Engineer Brigade are responsible for construction projects being completed in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. During their deployment, the unit was the lead responsible for construction projects supporting formerly at-risk Afghans as part of Operation Allies Refuge.

2nd Marine Logistics Group, Task Force Quantico.  The 2nd Marine Logistics Group is supporting the U.S. government resettlement of Afghan evacuees as part of Operation Allies Welcome.

USS O’KANE (DDG 77).  Sailors aboard the USS O’KANE are conducting maritime security operations in the Arabian Gulf.  USS O’KANE serves as the primary naval ballistic missile defense platform in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, 28th Bomb Wing.  Airmen from this unit are forward-deployed to provide strategic deterrence and reassure allies by directly supporting Pacific Air Forces’ Bomber Task Force missions.

12th Space Warning Squadron, 21st Space Wing.  Guardians from the 12th Space Warning Squadron provide mission-critical missile warning and defense support for North America, as well as space surveillance year round from the “Top of the World.”