Connecticut National Guard unit returns from Afghanistan

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WINDSOR LOCKS — A Connecticut National Guard unit returned home following a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan.

More than 30 soldiers from the 143rd Regional Support Group are expected to be reunited with their families on Wednesday at the National Guard's Windsor Locks Army Aviation Readiness Center.

They are arriving on five different flights from Dallas. The first group landed around 5:30 p.m. Soldiers on that flight included Capt. Justin Giunto, who was welcomed home by his parents. FOX 61 caught up with him and his wife Nicole Pellerin when the two deployed to opposite sides of the world back in March. The two are newlyweds (see their story here). Pellerin is still serving with the military police in Cuba.

The soldiers left Connecticut in March for Fort Hood in Texas for additional training. They later deployed to Afghanistan to support NATO's Resolute Support mission.

A National Guard unit typically has 18 to 24 months to prepare for mission, but there was an immediate need for the 143rd Regional Support Group and they had only a few weeks to prepare.

The unit is based in Middletown and commanded by Col. John Wiltse, of Berlin.

Currently, there are still more than 200 Connecticut National Guardsmen deployed around the world.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.