HANAU, Germany — For the nearly 200 soldiers of the 502nd Engineer Company, a very long year has come to an end. In the early morning hours of Tuesday, the soldiers stepped off of planes at Rhein-Main Air Base and onto buses that delivered them to their waiting families. Around 80 soldiers arrived early Tuesday, while the remainder were to arrive Wednesday.
The 502nd, part of the 130th Engineer Brigade, is the first U.S. Army Europe unit to complete a second tour of duty in Iraq, officials said. The unit is based at Pioneer Barracks in Hanau.
After a weeklong reintegration program, the soldiers will be granted 30 days of block leave before getting back to work in Germany.
The 502nd first served in Iraq from March to October 2003, mainly in the Baghdad area. Its second deployment, which began on Sept. 13, 2004, included time at Tallil Air Base and Logistics Support Area Anaconda in Balad.