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3rd ID troops get warm welcome
Redeployments from Iraq starting
A 3rd Infantry Division Special Troops Battalion soldier gets a kiss from his sweetheart Wednesday night during a welcome home ceremony on Fort Stewart’s Cottrell Field. - photo by Photo by Marguerite West, Media on the Move
One hundred and ten soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division’s Special Troops Battalion returned home to cheers, tears and kisses around 10 p.m. Wednesday. A welcome home ceremony was held at Cottrell Field at Fort Stewart.
“The Division Special Troops Battalion belongs to the division headquarters,” Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson said.  “They are Maj. Gen. Cucolo’s soldiers, his staff elements and such.”
Larson said these soldiers make up an elite element of Task Force Marne. They mentored Iraqi security forces as part of the Army’s advise and assist mission, he said.
3rd ID Commander Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo appeared on the field’s video screen to offer brief words of welcome, thanking soldiers for their service and military families for their needed support and sacrifice.
3rd ID deputy commander general-rear Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips praised soldiers for a job well done, telling them they “have left freedom in their footsteps.”
More 3rd ID soldiers are expected to begin redeploying from Iraq in September.
Fort Stewart garrison commander Col. Kevin Milton informed members of the Hinesville Military Affairs Committee Monday the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, Air Ambulance and 526th Engineers will redeploy in mid- to late September. The 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Cavalry and Division Headquarters will return in October and the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team will come home in November, he said. The 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team was the last 3rd ID brigade to deploy and will return home next July.
“Troops will have a 10-day reintegration period, followed by 30 days of block leave,” Milton said, as recorded in HMAC meeting minutes. “The block leave will be taken over the Christmas holiday season until mid-January 2011.”
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