News: 569th MAC returns to families
Story by Spc. Nathan Thome
FORT CARSON, Colo. – When Sgt. 1st Class Richard Britton, combat engineer, 569th Mobility Augmentation Company, 4th Engineer Battalion, arrived at the Special Events Center for the redeployment ceremony Feb. 13, he had a reception he was not expecting.
“I had no idea they were going to be here,” said Britton. “I can’t even put a word on how it feels. I’m so ecstatic. I’m at a loss for words.”
Britton’s parents live in Pennsylvania, and he said he was going to visit them when he took leave.
The 569th MAC, "Assassins," 4th Engineer Battalion, deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, February 2012. The unit was stationed at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak and while there cleared more than 26,000 kilometers of routes, and neutralized more than 250 improvised explosive devices and unexploded ordinance.
Brig. Gen. Darsie Rogers, deputy commanding general for support, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, addressed soldiers and families at the event, speaking of his pride in the soldiers.
“‘Assassins’ welcome home, job well done and thank you for your service. We’re proud of every one of you,” said Rogers. “And to our families, friends and loyal supporters from the community, thank you for your wonderful service and support as well. We could not do our job without your love and support. Thanks for being here tonight.”
Because of their direct support to the area of operation for Regional Command South, 569th MAC allowed the command to spearhead an operation in late June to the far southern Shorabok district, a location no U.S. forces had reached by ground in more than three years.
The Assassins’ success rate with finding IEDs led to the best record in Afghanistan with a 75-percent discovery rate, and the most ground-penetrating radar IED finds of any unit in the country.
The 569th MAC’s impact on their area of operations enabled four battalion-sized task forces to accomplish their missions without IED-related casualties on their cleared routes. The aid provided by the Assassins supported at least 20 operations and helped the Afghan National Security Forces in the area.
As the soldiers filed into the SEC, cheering and applause erupted from their families and loved ones. Soldiers sang the "4th Infantry Division Song" and Army song, before being released to reunite with their families.
Soldiers and families rushed to each other, embracing their loved ones for the first time in a year. Spouses were overcome with joy, seeing their soldiers safely back home.
“I’m just so excited that my husband’s home,” said Andrea Britton, wife of Richard Britton. “Going through this year without seeing him, it couldn’t have gotten here any quicker.”
After a long awaited arrival, families left the SEC to spend much-needed quality time together.
“This is just an all around amazing day,” said Richard Britton. “I’m home, I’m with my family, and that’s all I can really ask for.”