Gov. Holcomb, Adjutant Gen. Dale Lyles visit Indiana National Guard soldiers in Kenya

INDIANAPOLIS – Governor Eric J. Holcomb and Indiana Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Dale Lyles returned to Indianapolis Friday evening concluding a visit to Camp Simba in Manda Bay, Kenya where they shared a Thanksgiving meal with Hoosier National Guard soldiers.

“These are men and women who will spend close to a year living in a foreign country, thousands of miles away from home, and celebrate the upcoming holidays away from those who love them most,” Gov. Holcomb said. “It was an honor to share a meal with them and take a moment to learn more about their mission at hand and about the loved ones waiting for their safe return.”

On Wednesday, Gov. Holcomb met with members of the Indiana National Guard’s Airborne Company who are stationed in the Horn of Africa region on a counterterrorism mission. He shared a holiday meal with the soldiers, spent additional time on the base, and received an update on the Mission Overview.

The more than 100 citizen-soldiers are headquartered in Seymour and are on a joint assignment between Indiana and Oklahoma National Guardsmen and women.

“Hoosier Guardsmen serving at Camp Simba right now are focused on the mission, supporting regional security and freedom in Kenya,” said Maj. Gen. Lyles. “I’m grateful for their professionalism and the governor’s visit, which provided a morale boost to the soldiers who will be apart from their loved ones during the holidays.”

In Nairobi, the governor met with Deputy Chief of Mission Marc Dillard on Thursday to discuss opportunities to strengthen relationships in education, trade, and government to help build a mutually sustainable partnership with common goals.

Gov. Eric Holcomb being greeted by Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy Nairobi Marc Dillard Nov. 16, 2023, Outside of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.

Operation Enduring Freedom has been ongoing in the Horn of Africa since 2002. Hoosier Guardsmen continuing the mission are scheduled to return home to Indiana next year.