Fort Shafter, Hawaii – Soldiers with the 71st Chemical Company “Dragons,” 303rd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, returned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, from a nine-month rotation in the Republic of South Korea, Nov. 7th, 2022.
Upon their arrival to Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, the soldiers were shuttled by bus to Schofield Barracks, where they were greeted by their families and the rear detachment of the unit. Once at Schofield Barracks, the soldiers receive their end of rotation briefing before they were reunited with their families.
“The team and I are very proud of what this company has done,” said Col. Charles A. Green, commander of the 8th MP Bde. “We are even more proud to welcome you back home, and for you to spend some time with your families.”
The brigade and battalion commanders to the soldiers, reminding them that things were going to be different in Hawaii and it may take time to adjust.
“Super excited to have you guys back here with the battalion, and back home with your families as well,” said Lt. Col. Philip P. Cordado, commander of the 303rd EOD Bn. “It's been tough…it has been a long nine months without you.”
During the end of the briefing, the chaplain handed out flyers with resources for the soldiers to use. The soldiers were then dismissed for the next four days to spend time with their families and to rest after the long flight.
While deployed, the company completed numerous training missions, to include operational and vehicle decontamination, patient decontamination, and canine decontamination. By conducting exercises in the Republic of South Korea, the unit was able to sustain combat-credibility and demonstrate their commitment.
The Dragons also trained alongside their partners of the Republic of Korea Army for training exercises which focused on equipment and troop decontamination, dismounted reconnaissance and surveillance, and combined arms training. These training events enhanced the Dragons international bonds that enable the force to employ advanced regional stability.
Additionally, soldiers from the 71st Chem. Co. were also given the opportunity to earn their spurs, participate in a Norwegian Foot March, and in their free time, go white water rafting to enhance esprit de corps.