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Troops Back From Afghanistan Post

Nearly 200 soldiers from the 65th Engineer Battalion reunite with family and friends at Wheeler Army Airfield after completing a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Gaelen Lowers, 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs.

Nearly 200 soldiers from the 65th Engineer Battalion reunite with family and friends at Wheeler Army Airfield after completing a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Gaelen Lowers, 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs.

By Staff Sgt. GAELEN LOWERS
Public Affairs NCO

Schofield Barracks welcomed home 187 soldiers June 20 with a combination of tears, hugs and kisses.

The soldiers from 65th Engineer Battalion had completed a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan. Two weeks earlier, more than 100 Hawaii-based troops from Theater Engineer Brigade also returned after nearly a year in the region.

The unit led Task Force Bayonet, a multifaceted force of engineering and logistical companies, and an Afghan National Army (ANA) mentoring team.

The mission’s primary focus was to partner with ANA engineers and other ministries of the Afghan government and provide mentorship in engineer operations. The soldiers were directly responsible for ensuring that the ANA was capable of operating as an independent fighting force.

The task force also conducted route-clearance operations, assuring mobility for coalition forces and Afghan civilians.

“As I reflect back on this deployment, I am truly amazed by how much this battalion has accomplished,” said Bayonet commander Lt. Col. Dave Acker. “The soldiers of Task Force Bayonet have demonstrated their dedication to the mission and ability to remain flexible in the most trying situations.”

The Army engineers tracked the battle across three regional commands comprised of more than 58,000 square miles, ensuring more than 1,200 non-rolling stock items were returned to the military inventory.

They also turned in 21 vehicles and more than 80,000 rounds of ammunition from their company alone.

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