FORT HOOD — Approximately 45 soldiers from the III Corps “Phantom Warriors” headquarters element were welcomed home Tuesday evening from a year-long deployment to Iraq in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve — the mission to destroy the Islamic State group.

Roughly 350 troops from the headquarters element, to include III Corps and Fort Hood commander Lt. Gen. Paul Funk II and senior enlisted leader Command Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Crosby, deployed in August 2017 to take command of Inherent Resolve, the more than 70-nation coalition tasked with defeating ISIS.

When III Corps assumed the mission on Sept. 5, 2017, ISIS still controlled a large amount of terrain both in Iraq and Syria, with millions of civilians subjugated to its reign of terror, Funk said in a May 2018 interview. Since that time, the majority of that terrain has been recaptured and those civilians liberated under the direction of III Corps’ leadership of the coalition.

The Phantom Warriors are scheduled to transfer authority of the mission against ISIS to the 18th Airborne Corps from Fort Bragg, North Carolina on Monday, with the remainder of the III Corps troops returning to Fort Hood by the end of next week. | 254-501-7554

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