- Associated Press - Saturday, July 19, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - About 150 South Carolina Army National Guard engineers are returning home after a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan.

Guard spokesman Capt. Brian Hare says friends and family are gathering to welcome home the 124th Engineer Company from Saluda on Saturday.

The unit is returning to the Eagle Aviation hangar at the airport in Columbia.

It was the second overseas deployment for the unit, which deployed to Iraq in 2005.

Capt. Alan Wooten is the commander of the 124th and 1st Sgt. Ricky Smith serves as the company’s first sergeant.

Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, more than 18,000 soldiers and airmen from the South Carolina National Guard have deployed in support of combat operations.

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