Rakkasans return home early
February 6, 2013
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- Approximately 100 Soldiers from Company A, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team "Rakkasans," 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) were recognized at a Welcome Home Ceremony here Feb. 1 when they returned from a deployment in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Originally scheduled for a nine month deployment, the company returned after only five months due to the progress made by Afghan National Security Forces in their area of responsibility.
"We are very proud of what you accomplished and how well you represented this division," said Maj. Gen. James C. McConville, Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). "I know your families are very happy that you came home early and I'm very thankful for the families' unwavering support during this deployment."
As combat outposts and forward operating bases close or transfer to Afghan control, the Rakkasan unit that operated from that location will return to Fort Campbell, although some personnel will remain if they are reassigned to other missions.
This slight reduction of 3rd BCT personnel overseas will allow for a smoother transition for the 4th Brigade Combat Team "Currahee" Soldiers when they deploy and relieve the Rakkasans this Spring.
McConville made it clear that the majority of deployed Soldiers will remain in Afghanistan for full-length rotations.
"I do need to caution all that there still is much work left to be done in Afghanistan," he said. "The war is not over and we should not expect all soldiers to return home early. This will be the exception rather than the rule. In closing, Rakkasans, you did a fabulous job -- you were a tight, cohesive unit during this deployment."
Although these Soldiers have returned from Afghanistan, there is always another mission to accomplish for the highly trained, disciplined and fit Rakkasans.
"Your next mission is reintegration -- taking care of each other as you come back to your families and you get ready for your next rendezvous with destiny," said McConville. "Again, you did a super job, we're very proud of you. You represented this division extremely well and lived up to the legacy of those who have gone before you."