Soldiers Head Home for the Holidays
About 6,800 Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training Soldiers left Fort Jackson by car and bus on block leave Dec. 18-19 to head home for the holidays.

FORT JACKSON, S.C. (Army News Service, Dec. 20, 2007) - During the next two weeks the streets and ranges of training posts around the Army may resemble ghost towns.

More than 6,800 Soldiers at Fort Jackson alone took advantage of block leave for the holidays, according to Maj. Chris Quale, chief, G-3 Operations. The majority, about 5,000, will return after New Year's to resume Basic Combat Training or to begin Advanced Individual Training.

Soldiers not traveling by commercial carriers started their block leave Tuesday. The rest started leaving about 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Block leave will end Jan. 3, when Soldiers will report to sign in from leave and be transported to their units. Some Soldiers are also transferring to other posts.

Maj. Quale praised all the units and directorates involved in the operation at Fort Jackson.

"The operation has been extremely successful. Units were exceptionally responsive to Soldier issues regarding travel plans and transportation," he said. "The 165th Infantry Brigade and 193rd Infantry Brigade maintained their respective deployment missions from last year and applied lessons learned to improve their tasks.

"Planning begins for the next year's mission during the compilation of the after-action review," Maj. Quale said. "So, essentially it is a year-round planning effort."

Soldiers not leaving Fort Jackson during block leave will stay at the holdover battalion, 2nd Battalion, 39th Inf. Regiment.

(Mike Glasch writes for the Fort Jackson Leader newspaper.)

Page last updated Thu December 20th, 2007 at 14:15