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117th Space team arrives home again-Space Support team completes combat tour

September 1, 2011

By Sgt. Benjamin Crane, 100th Missile Defense Brigade (GMD) Public Affairs

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The six Soldiers of the 117th Space Battalion's Army Space Support Team 22 were welcomed back home here Aug. 19.

It was a long time coming for both Soldiers and their families.

These six Soldiers dedicated the last nine months in Afghanistan providing pictures from space, helping Marines do their job without having to endanger lives.

The ARSST development has evolved over nine years of experimentation, employment, assessment and refinement in Major Theater War and Military, in support of Joint and Coalition Headquarters and the Headquarters operations of the Army. Their employment during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom clearly demonstrates that the space-based products provided by ARSST-equipped teams markedly enhanced command and control, situational awareness and analysis for commanders and their staffs.

As these troops returned back to the homes they left almost a year ago, they need not to rush back into the way things were before they left.

"Your mission is not done yet," said Lt. Col. Jesse Morehouse, commander of the 117th. "You need to rest and recover and you need to take care of yourselves and get your lives back in balance and take a knee; enjoy life a little bit before you get back into your day jobs, enjoy the freedoms you have helped defend."

During the ceremony, the unit was compared to a Swiss army knife in how the ARRST's capabilities are many but those in the Brigade are few.

"What are the Swiss known for," asked Col. Eric Henderson, Commander, 1st Space Brigade. "Their knives, and I got to thinking about them, all these things that these six soldiers are capable of, the tools they have in their tool box, all the things that space provides are encased in the ARSST like the pretty red knife."

He finished by quoting Thomas Pain, " These are the times that try men's souls, The sunshine patriot has long since faded.' One man believed in a cause worth fighting for and these six Soldiers are continuing that."

"I am so honored today to be standing in their midst," said Henderson. "I'm proud to be in their formation."

The 117th Space Battalion is a small, highly specialized and technically adept unit. It is one of two space battalions in the Army. Soldiers in the 117th Space Battalion enable operations by maximizing military utilization of space-based assets to include satellite imagery, missile warning systems, satellite communications, space-based weather and global positioning system capabilities.

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