Army

October 4, 2013

201st MI Battalion returns from Afghanistan

Tags:
Gregory Ripps
470th Military Intelligence Brigade Public Affairs

Col. Timothy Chafos (center), 470th Military Intelligence Brigade commander, shakes hands with Lt. Col. Joe Barber, 201st MI Battalion commander, as he disembarks from an aircraft on Kelly Field at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Air Force Base, Sept. 21. Barber and more than 100 Soldiers of the battalion returned to U.S. soil here after a year-long deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Command Sgt. Maj. William Manchester (left) waits his turn to welcome Barber and the troops.

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas – Soldiers of the 201st Military Intelligence Battalion returned to San Antonio late on the night of Sept. 21 after a year supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

The more than 100 Soldiers that made up the main body landed at Kelly Field aboard a chartered airliner after a 24-hour delay and a total of 30 hours in the air. Before they could board buses for Fort Sam Houston, the Soldiers had to take care of some paperwork and hear some briefings.

Meanwhile, excitement was building inside the post teen center where family and friends were anxiously waiting for as long as three hours for their Soldiers to arrive. As the Soldiers filed into the building to take their places in formation, the bleachers erupted in boisterous cheers and thunderous applause.

After Lt. Col. Joe Barber, the battalion commander, and Col. Timothy Chafos, 470th MI Brigade commander, exchanged salutes, Chafos made his welcoming comments. He said the battalion’s accomplishment of its intelligence mission “contributed to the protection of coalition and U.S. forces” and to “taking enemies of the United States off the battlefield.”

“It was a successful deployment and an overly successful mission,” Chafos said.
The brigade commander also commended the families for their support of their Soldiers.

“Honor that contribution with an effective reintegration,” he urged. “Take time to get together and get to know each other again.”

A Soldier of the 201st Military Intelligence Battalion receives a warm embrace at the teen activity center on Fort Sam Houston. He and more than 100 other members of his unit were welcomed by family and friends after returning Sept. 21 from a year-long deployment to Afghanistan.

Barber and Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Williams uncased the battalion’s colors, symbolizing the official return of the battalion to Joint Base San Antonio. The ceremony completed, Barber gave the order, “Dismissed!” With that, the bleachers emptied as families rushed to embrace their Soldiers.

“Until I walked in here, everything else was just waiting,” said Sgt. Jason Birmendiz, who was greeted by his wife, Veronica, and three children. He said this had been his first deployment to Afghanistan but that he had previously deployed to Iraq twice with another unit.

His wife said the joyful feeling of having her husband home was “something I can’t explain.”

Sgt. Samuel Poindexter probably had more people gathered around him than anyone. “Mom, Dad, girl friend, sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephews are all here,” he said as they all took turns hugging him.

Some Soldiers, unfortunately, didn’t have family there to greet them.

“My family is out of state,” said Sgt. Oscar Marroquin. “They couldn’t make it.”

A single Soldier who had just completed his second deployment to Afghanistan with the 201st MI Battalion, Marroquin said he was going to see his mother and father as soon as he could.

“I’m looking forward to a home-cooked meal,” he said, expressing a common sentiment.

“I’ll know I’m home when I taste my wife’s pot-roast,” said Warrant Officer 2 John Flores.

Barber noted that every Soldier who had deployed in his battalion returned safe and sound.

“We had a few ‘medicals’ but no severe injuries,” the battalion commander said. “That’s another indicator of a successful mission.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Army Emergency Relief annual campaign underway

Financial security is a key element of a ready and resilient force. The Army Emergency Relief, AER, Annual Campaign is conducted from March 1 through May 15 in order to increase Soldier awareness of this benefit, as well as to give Soldiers the opportunity to help their fellow Soldiers by donating. Local commanders can adjust...
 
 

Civilian of the Month

Anthony Black Agency: Communications Security Logistics Activity Position and duties: Program manager for an application that manages communication security equipment How long at current assignment: 11 years How long in government service: Almost 34 years Residence: Sierra Vista Hobbies: Working around the house, hanging out with grandchildren and being an active member in church at...
 
 
U.S. Army graphic

Traumatic Brain Injury awareness month highlights resources

U.S. Army graphic The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 2.5 million emergency room visits, hospitalizations or deaths were associated with a singular traumatic brain injury, or TBI, a combinat...
 

 

BAH can take you far when living on post

Many Service members across the country should now be aware that the Basic Allowance for Housing, or BAH, rates for 2015 have changed, and for Soldiers assigned to Fort Huachuca, it has decreased drastically. BAH is determined by an array of market analysis reports collected from the surrounding area by a government-hired firm. The changes...
 
 

Retiree Council shares news for retired military

Small increase to TRICARE pharmacy copays FALLS CHURCH, Va. — New copayments for prescription drugs covered by TRICARE are now in effect. The Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act requires TRICARE to increase most pharmacy copays by $3. Drugs from military pharmacies and generic drugs from TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery still cost beneficiaries nothing....
 
 
#2-POW-Interrogation-of-VC-prisoner-copy

Military Intelligence – Moment in MI history

Lt. John McEnery and Staff Sgt. Nguyen Hoang Phuong, interpreter, with the 191st MI Detachment, 1st Air Cavalry Division, interrogate a Viet Cong prisoner in 1966. Intelligence Force had role in Vietnam conflict Prior to the co...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin