Signs, balloons, Families and friends filled Hanger 3 Saturday to welcome home 251 Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div.
The air defense artillery Soldiers returned from a nine-month deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan.
Lieutenant Col. James C. Reese, commander of 2nd Bn., 44th ADA Regt., said the mission was to provide air defense by countering mortar and rocket artillery and provide early warning of incoming attacks.
With the battalion split up in two different locations, Reese said trust and training standards were crucial to their mission’s success.
“Standards across the formation are important,” Reese said. “Everyone needs to understand what their individual piece is and be able to execute when asked.”
Reese added that leaders and Soldiers from the rear detachment also played a crucial part in their success downrange.
“Every time I had to call back for an individual or groups of Soldiers [to go overseas] there was no hesitation,” Reese said. “[Leaders] made sure all Soldiers met training requirements and were ready to deploy at any [moments] notice.”
With the holiday season approaching, Reese said he felt a sense of pride bringing his Soldiers back to their Families after a job well done. Sergeant Abraham Adger, who served as a part of the sense and warn team in Afghanistan, said although this was not his first time away from his Family, this separation was much harder than his time in Korea.
“In Korea the environment was more relaxed and I was able to talk to my Family more often compared to a combat environment,” said Adger, who is married with a stepdaughter and a baby on the way.
Adger said he is excited to be back with his Family for the holidays and looks forward to the new addition to his Family.
Reese, who has completed three combat deployments, said the last big celebration for the battalion will be in January during their St. Barbara’s Day Ball that will allow Soldiers who deployed and those who stayed as part of the rear detachment to reintegrate.
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