FORT GORDON, Ga. (Feb. 2, 2017) -- The 518th Tactical Installation and Networking Company redeployed home to Fort Gordon Feb. 1 as families of more than 100 Soldiers marched into Cyber Fitness Center during a brief Welcome Home ceremony.


The 518th TIN Co. returns after a nine-month deployment to provide communication support to telecommunication facilities for coalition forces throughout the Middle East.


"It feels really unreal to be home. It's a lot to handle," said Spc. James Holder, a native of Hazel Green, Alabama, is assigned to 518th TIN Co. as a cable systems installer-maintainer.


Prior to deployment, premature baby James P. Holder arrived earlier than expected, confined to an incubator at a neonatal intensive care unit. Wednesday was first time holder was able to physically hold his nine-month-old son.
"I'm looking forward to spending time with him during block leave," he said.


Spc. Brandon Stone was greeted by his children and family members after dismissed from the unit formation.


Stone, a native of Dublin, Georgia, is assigned to 518th TIN Co. as a cable systems installer-maintainer.


"While deployed, I mostly missed spending time with the kids," he said.


Family addition, two-month-old Brandon Stone Jr. met his father for the first time since being born.


During their deployment, Soldiers installed, maintained, and restored communication networks to forces deployed at multiple forward operating bases across the Middle East. The 518th TIN Co. is one of two tactical installation and networking companies in the Army.


During the ceremony, Col. Charles P. Daly, 35th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade commander, shared some insight from Col. Kevin L. Griggs, 160th Signal Brigade commander, based at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, which the 518th TIN Co. was attached to.


Soldiers operated across five countries, 10 locations, four named military operations and took on other unexpected missions in Turkey. Many Soldiers, as in modern tradition of the American deployment, returned stronger and smarter from time spent in the gym and education center, according to Griggs.


"These Soldiers honor us with their service as they supported critical operations throughout the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. We are bursting with pride and especially thankful they returned safe and are reunited with their families," said Daly.