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Welcomed with open arms: Soldiers return home

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Majority of 3/1 expected back by March

By Jeff D'Alessio

More soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division returned home Thursday morning from a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. About 160 soldiers were greeted during a ceremony at Natcher Physical Fitness Center at Fort Knox.

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The unit has been operating in the roughly 7,000-square-mile Zabul province in southern Afghanistan, which is an area larger than the state of Connecticut. Various units of the 3rd IBCT were spread throughout all corners of Afghanistan assisting Afghan security forces, government, and police forces in their transition to independent security and governance.

Many of the soldiers to return on this flight are assigned to the 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment where they conducted separate combat operations in Regional Command-North.

The unit will continue to send soldiers home in small groups through May with the majority of the brigade returning before March.