Hundreds of family members stood ready to greet their soldiers after nine months apart last week at Cooper Field.
“Ready to the left, ready to the right,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Bills, 1st Cavalry Division commander, before giving the much desired command of “charge.”
Across the field, about 270 soldiers from the division’s 1st “Black Knight” Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, reunited with family and friends after serving primarily in Afghanistan’s Regional Command East.
“What 1-5 did in Afghanistan — using words from other general officers — was provide them the flexibility they needed with a wide variety of operations,” said Lt. Col. Jason Joose, battalion commander. “We conducted combined arms operations, which is something our organization is able to bring to the fight.”
Black Knights also conducted security for the retrograde of assets and fixed site security of forward operating bases.
Delta Company was sent on a mission to Regional Command West to secure a consulate in Herat that was attacked by insurgents in September.
“Our responsibility was the four-hour ready company for the theater of Afghanistan,” said Capt. Michael Bassi, company commander.
The consulate was a unique mission, because it required soldiers to work with the State Department as well as Italian and Spanish forces, he said. But thanks to “aggressive” training, soldiers were ready.
“We had very robust training to ... ensure our company in particular was trained and prepared,” Bassi said.
Joose said overall he was really proud of the leaders and soldiers of the unit for maintaining focus and discipline. He was also proud to bring back every soldier he deployed.
“They went out there and did their job,” he said.
The entire 2nd Brigade Combat Team deployed in July and the only battalion still in Afghanistan is 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, which is expected to return in the coming weeks.
Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here. You can contact Rose L. Thayer at email@example.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.