The Utah Army National Guard's 144th Evacuation Hospital and the Army Reserve's 321st Medical Detachment are expected to arrive home in Salt Lake Saturday after duty in the Persian Gulf.
Both units are expected to arrive on a chartered jet at 7:15 p.m. at the Air Guard base on the east side of the Salt Lake International Airport.The evacuation hospital has been stationed near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, since January and was poised to treat the massive casualties originally expected at the onset of the ground offensive against Iraq.
The 400-plus members of the hospital, including Army Reservists transferred into the unit from the Army Reserve's 328th General Hospital at Fort Douglas, returned to Fort Carson, Colo., May 6 for end-of-duty processing. Another 53 of the unit's members remain in the gulf to load equipment aboard ships but should return home within the next three weeks, Lt. Col. Bob Nelson, a Guard spokesman, said.
The 321st is a helicopter medical evacuation team with approximately 50 members that was also sent to Saudi Arabia after being placed on active duty in November.
The 144th anticipates a formal welcome-home ceremony in the next three weeks. A reception for members of the 321st is planned for after their arrival Saturday evening.