The 2nd “Black Jack” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, welcomed home its last battalion from a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan during an early Saturday morning ceremony.
More than 300 soldiers were greeted by family and friends on Cooper Field.
Lt. Col. Matt Kinkead, commander of 1st “Mustangs” Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, uncased the battalion colors, not only signifying the unit’s return, but the end of the mission. That mission was diverse with the majority of tasks conducted throughout southern Afghanistan, Kinkead said.
“(Mustangs) performed as a transition assistance force and theater reserve force ensuring stability in retrograde operations and base closures,” he said. The mission was challenging, but successful due to the professionalism and discipline of both leader and soldiers.
Spc. Keith Fujimoto, a tanker with Delta Company, said he saw success in his groups work. He enjoyed interacting with local Afghans, and learned a lot about patience and humility.
Of course, the return home was what Fujimoto was most excited about.
“This was my first deployment and I really enjoyed it, but I cannot wait to get home and see my family. I miss them a lot,” he said.
Kinkead said it feels absolutely fantastic to be back home. He was thankful for his troops safe return home and commends the loved ones for their support during the deployment.