The final Maine National Guard unit to remain in Washington D.C, following the Capitol riots, has returned home.

It was not a mission any of them would have expected, but after insurgents breached the doors of the U.S. Capitol building, Maine soldiers were sent to Washington D.C. to offer an additional layer of protection. The rioters had roamed the halls during a Legislative special session, interrupting lawmakers as they were about to declare Joseph Biden the winner of the Presidential election.

Two Maine units have been sent to Washington D.C. since that day, to offer security for federal buildings. The first wave of approximately 200 soldiers departed on January 16th and returned 10 days later. A second group, combined with about a dozen soldiers from the first group who volunteered to return, departed on January 26th. They returned to Maine on Sunday, March 14th.

"Maine's soldiers represented their state well, working diligently around the clock, providing roving and static patrols around the Capitol," said Captain Garrett Clark, commander of Waterville's 488th Military Police Company, and officer-in-charge for the group, in a media release. "Seventy-six soldiers from eight different units around the state joined 20-plus states on this unprecedented mission, and they are eager to return to their families and friends."

The final group to leave the nation's capital was made up of members of the 101st Air Refueling Wing, based in Bangor. It's been a busy week for Maine's National Guard, as the Brewer-based B-company, 3rd Battalion 172nd Mountain Infantry Unit departed for a year-long deployment in Africa.

"We're immensely grateful not only to our soldiers, but to their families and employers as well," said Major General Douglas Farnham, Maine's adjutant general. "Between supporting the COVID response here at home, assisting in Washington D.C., and deploying soldiers and airmen overseas, our men and women are hard at work."

The 3rd Battalion is expected to be in Africa for a year.

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