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10th Mountain Division headquarters Soldiers redeploy, uncase colors

October 6, 2011

By Ms Jennifer M Caprioli (Drum)

FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- After a year of being separated from their Soldiers, loved ones filled the bleachers of Magrath Sports Complex Oct. 2, patiently awaiting the homecoming of 10th Mountain Division (LI) Soldiers. As the 30 Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion marched across the floor, Families' and friends' cheers echoed throughout the gym -- a scene repeated several times as nearly 600 HHBN Soldiers redeployed over the past month.

During the homecoming ceremony, Soldiers and attendees also bore witness as the division leaders uncased their colors at home, a symbolic gesture officially announcing and welcoming home a unit from a deployment.

Maj. Gen. James L. Terry, 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum commander, first recognized the "most important" guests: the Family and friends of the returning Soldiers.

"I want to thank each of you for your support to our 10th Mountain Soldiers," said Terry, who spent the last year serving as commander of the International Security Assistance Force's Regional Command South in Afghanistan.

"We officially uncase the division colors and mark the return home to Fort Drum from Afghanistan. This has been a historic year. Not only did we pass the 10th anniversary of 9/11, but (we) also witnessed the death of Osama bin Laden," Terry told Soldiers and attendees.
He listed various missions 10th Mountain Division (LI) Soldiers carried out and support they provided to Afghanistan and its people.

Terry noted that the most drastic change that impacted the 10th Mountain Division (LI) while in Afghanistan was "taking the decisive terrain away from the Taliban area."

He added that bringing in a government that reinforces security gains and the development of the Afghan National Security Forces taking lead of security in Afghanistan also were pivotal missions for the division.

"This progress has come with a sacrifice, and I ask all of you to remember the 105 coalition Soldiers -- Romanian, Canadian, Australian and United States Soldiers -- and the 290 Afghan National Security Force members who sacrificed all," he said. "Be proud of our Soldiers as they witnessed an (important) chapter in 10th Mountain Division (LI) history.

"The 10th Mountain division (LI) made a significant difference. Never forget our Soldiers who remain in the fight."

Col. Kenneth H. Riddle, operations officer for RC-South, described the Afghanistan they left as a "much more stable environment."

"A lot of progress made in a year. A lot more progress needs to be made, but (there was) tremendous work by the Regional Command South headquarters and the Soldiers (who) work beneath the command headquarters. It was great to watch that progress," he noted.

Terry is scheduled to relinquish command to Maj. Gen. Mark A. Milley on Nov. 4. After being promoted to lieutenant general, Terry will return to Afghanistan and take command of V Corps, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army.

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