3rd Brigade Combat Team marks official return from Afghanistan
Command Sgt. Maj. Delbert Byers, 3rd BCT command sergeant major, unfurls the colors for the brigade, Jan. 21 at Magrath Gym, marking the official return from their recent combat tour to Afghanistan.

The 10th Mountain Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team received an official welcome home Jan 21 during an uncasing of the colors ceremony held at Magrath Gym.

Upon completion of the brigade's deployment, the colors were cased to symbolize the close of operations in Logar and Wardak Provinces.

"We literally planted our guidons in the heart of enemy-held territory, dominated our battle space and established permanent U.S. presence in 10 separate districts (that) had become dangerous enemy sanctuaries," said Col. David Haight, 3rd BCT commander.

The uncasing of the brigade and its battalion's colors signifies the unit and commanders have officially returned home from their combat tour.

The brigade originally was scheduled to deploy to Iraq. After extensive training for Iraqi terrain, however, Soldiers were redirected last minute to Afghanistan as part of the initial troop push after Iraq began to become more stable.

Over the yearlong deployment to Wardak, Logar and Konar Provinces, 3rd BCT Soldiers successfully overcame the challenges presented to them by treacherous mountain terrain and relentless insurgent attacks and accomplished their overall mission.

The brigade's mission while deployed was to secure the southern gates of Kabul by pushing insurgents away from the nation's capital, train Afghan National Security Forces, improve governance and develop the region's infrastructure.

"Over the past year, Task Force Spartan, along with Afghan National Police and Afghan National Army units, made great strides to protect the people of Wardak, Logar and Konar Provinces from an elusive, vicious and determined enemy," Haight said.

All 3rd BCT Soldiers made sacrifices as they fought to complete their mission and make a difference in the lives of the Afghan people. Soldiers sacrificed the warmth and security of their Families in the name of freedom. Some made an even greater sacrifice for freedom and for their fellow Soldiers.

"Sadly, 32 Spartans and attached Soldiers fell on that distant battlefield and over 270 were wounded," Haight said. "To all my Spartans, all I can say is thank you for your service and sacrifice in that war-torn land."

Page last updated Fri January 29th, 2010 at 15:12