By Mr Jeff Crawley (IMCOM)March 1, 2012
Hundreds of Soldiers, families and friends welcomed home C Battery, 2nd Battalion, 4th Field Artillery Feb. 26, during a redeployment morning ceremony at Rinehart Fitness Center.
"Charlie Rock" battery deployed to Afghanistan in late August where they performed a variety of security missions.
"We're super grateful that we were able to take 141 Soldiers downrange and bring back every one of them," said 1st Lt. Matthew Waughtel, battery executive officer.
Maj. Brian Kavanagh, 2-4th FA acting commander, said the battery of field artillerymen did a super job and because of the reputation they built were selected to perform difficult split-operation missions.
In its six-month deployment, the battery initially provided formations to five regional commands to support NATO rule-of-law field support, Kavanagh said. However, after one month of operations the battery reconsolidated on Bagram Air Field to perform base defense operations for the largest detention facility in the Parwan province, while a small element served as personnel security detachment for the rule-of-law commander of Kabul, managing entry control points.
The change of mission was difficult, but the battery did it seamlessly and quickly, Waughtel said.
"It was outstanding leadership," he said. "The noncommissioned officers, the officers and the Soldiers all worked really hard to accomplish those missions."
During the deployment, the battery provided security for more than 7,000 Soldiers and contractors, and 3,000 detainees, Kavanagh said. It processed more than 250,000 personnel and 70,000 vehicles without an incident.
"Simply put, they were impact players in a complex environment working among multiple command and control relationships," the commander said.
Tina Thomas, of Oklahoma City, was at the ceremony with 16 of her family and friends to see her son, Spc. Brandon Thomas.
"My heart is light now; it was so heavy when he was gone," she said. "I am glad that he is home safe."
Now the returning Soldiers will do about a week of reintegration, including situational awareness training, and then many will take a couple weeks leave, Waughtel said.