FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- The Fort Drum community welcomes home 288 soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team. The soldiers are home after a year-long deployment in Afghanistan.
They are known as the Spartan Brigade. More than 1,000 soldiers have already returned. Some 2,500 more will be flying in over the next few weeks as they are replaced in southern Afghanistan by the 82nd Airborne Division.
“The soldiers did extremely well, they were very well prepared going in and ran the gamut from clearing out Taliban insurgents to humanitarian assistance. We opened about 20 schools in the time we were over there, a lot of progress in the 12 months, so we’ve got a lot to look back and be proud of and a lot to pass on to the brigade that came and took our place," said Lt. Col. Frank Andrews, 3rd BCT Deputy Commander.
“The Spartan Brigade has done remarkable work in southern Afghanistan and the people of Afghanistan certainly appreciate the efforts of what they’ve done,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Milley, 10th Mountain Division Commander.
The troops will now decompress for a couple of weeks and then take a 30 day leave for some much needed R & R.