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Fort Bragg paratroopers end Afghanistan mission

As 2017 ended, so did the mission for 3rd Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment paratroopers in Afghanistan. Members of 3rd Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, held a transfer of authority ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan, Dec. 31, 2017, alongside the Oklahoma Army National Guard members of 1st Squadron, 180th Cavalry Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The ceremony represents the transfer of mission from one organization to another.

LINA CASTILLO/U.S. ARMY PHOTO

By DREW BROOKS | The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. (Tribune News Service) | Published: January 6, 2018

As 2017 ended, so did the mission for 3rd Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment paratroopers in Afghanistan.

The squadron, led by Lt. Col. Stephen G. Dobbins, has been deployed to Kabul since April. The unit colors were cased in a ceremony at New Kabul Compound, and soldiers returned to Fort Bragg last week.

The unit, which had several hundred soldiers deployed, is the first from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division to return from a deployment that saw more than 2,000 paratroopers serving in Afghanistan and Kosovo.

Officials with the 82nd Airborne Division did not allow media coverage of the unit’s return last week.

On Dec. 31, the squadron, also known as Devil Recon, conducted a transfer of authority ceremony with the 1st Squadron, 180th Cavalry Regiment, part of the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

The Guard troops now oversee the Kabul Security Forces mission, which is primarily focused on protecting advisors in the capital city. The mission also includes British, Danish and Mongolian forces.

Paratroopers from the 3rd Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment began returning to Fort Bragg last month, with some making it home in time for the holidays.

While deployed, the soldiers were responsible for site security, escorting advisors on foot through parts of the city, liaising with police commanders and responding to incidents within the city.

Other 1st Brigade paratroopers are spread across Afghanistan, including parts of Kandahar and Helmand provinces. Those soldiers are set to return to Fort Bragg later this year.

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©2018 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.)

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