By Sgt. Arcadia Hammack, 58th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade Public Affairs
BALTIMORE, Md. – More than 130 Citizen-Soldiers from the Maryland Army National Guard’s 58th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade and 629th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Battalion, have returned home from a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
This deployment marked the first time the 58th EMIB itself deployed as a brigade-sized element and was a first time in National Guard history. The unit was only one of two EMIBs activated in the entire Army National Guard. The 58th EMIB provided intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support during their deployment.
“The Soldiers have done an incredible job these past nine months,” said U.S. Army Col. Julie Minde, the commander of the 58th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade. “Actually, it has been longer than nine months, if you count the “shelter in place” order that locked us down last spring as we had just mobilized. The unit played a big part in intelligence support in Afghanistan during a very difficult, uncertain, and highly unusual period – a sizable and rapid drawdown conducted in a pandemic environment during Afghan Peace Negotiations.”
Soldiers from the 58th EMIB, who were not forward deployed, supported operations in the state, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in Maryland since March 2020. They helped with testing, food distribution, interagency coordination, and more. They were deployed to armories across the state and supported missions at the capital and Maryland Department of Health.
“As the commander in the rear, I was honored to represent the 58th EMIB while they were deployed this past year,” said U.S. Army Col. Kristine Henry, commander of Task Force 291. “We are so happy to have them home, and I look forward to integrating them back into our day-to-day operations in Maryland.”
Task Force 291 was an internal Maryland element established as one of the Maryland Army National Guard’s major subordinate commands, to provide command and control for several units while the 58th EMIB was deployed overseas.
“I have great leaders in this brigade and it shows because we overcame every obstacle and succeeded at every task, often times setting new standards and helping find the best way ahead.” said Minde. “I couldn’t be more proud of the 58th EMIB’s – aka Task Force Chesapeake’s – performance. Through their actions, the brigade has achieved a legacy unlike any other, as the first National Guard EMIB to deploy in support of combat operations.”
In addition to supporting the mission in Washington, D.C., hundreds of MDNG members continue to support the COVID-19 response efforts by providing Mobile Vaccination Support Teams to local health departments.