Band of Brother's Easy Company returns from Afghanistan, ends era
January 28, 2014
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (Jan. 28, 2014) -- The 506th Infantry Regiment has had a powerful lineage ever since their initial activation, July 20, 1942.
Since World War II, the 506th has been inactivated, reactivated and re-designated a number of times. They have served within different brigades, divisions and military posts.
The 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 506th Infantry Regiment reunited in September 2005 under the Colors of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, and have since had two separate deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The last group of Soldiers of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, or BCT, "Currahee", 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), consisting mainly of Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, returned home in the early hours of Sunday, marking the end of an era for the brigade.
"This is the final flight of the Band of Brothers, and the final rendezvous with destiny as we furl the colors," said Lt. Col. Scott W. Kirkpatrick, commander of 2nd Battalion 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th BCT, 101st Airborne Division. "It's been a great honor to be the commander of the 2nd of the 506th, and a great honor to be a commander in this organization."
Aside from feeling honored to have experienced a deployment as a commanding Currahee, his battalion returned without losing a single Soldier.
"We were able to bring everybody home for my battalion, which is usually a very tough thing to do," expressed Kirkpatrick. "This mission was difficult, but we are very, very happy to be back."
While the majority of the brigade returned after seven months of being away, the Soldiers of Easy Company were re-tasked and stayed a full nine months, untill the completion of the mission.
"This is a phenomenal organization," Kirkpatrick explained. "This organization has always been focused on accomplishing the mission no matter what it was, where it was or how difficult it was.
"Our time in the Khost Province, [Afghanistan], north of Kabul and south of Kabul -- accomplishing those missions -- that's the take away, the legacy of what the Band of Brothers is," Kirkpatrick said.
While the 4th BCT will be inactivating, the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, will be realigned to 1st BCT "Bastogne," 101st Airborne Division, and 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, will be realigned to 3rd BCT "Rakkasan," 101st Airborne Division.
The colors of the 506th will continue to fly, maintaining the history and pride that the unit has achieved over the span of the regiment's life time.
"No matter where," exclaimed Kirkpatrick, "we always, always accomplish a mission!"