News: Rakkasans return from successful deployment
Story by Sgt. Alan Graziano
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Approximately 95 soldiers from Angel Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team “Rakkasans,” 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), returned home from Afghanistan and were recognized for their accomplishments March 1 at a welcome home ceremony in Hangar 3 of the Fort Campbell Army Airfield.
The majority of the unit was able to return home from the deployment after about six months, which is three months short of its original length, due to the Afghan Border Police progress in the area. However, approximately 30 personnel from Angel Company’s 1st Platoon still remain in Afghanistan and are conducting security operations.
“We were assigned to Combat Outpost Chergotah in Khost province, Afghanistan, and our mission was to provide security along the Pakistan border and provide training for the ABP,” said Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Cardoza, the 2nd Platoon sergeant of Angel Company.
Cardoza said that Angel Company partnered with the ABP and conducted joint security patrols, rooted out and intercepted Taliban combatants who tried to cross the Afghanistan border from Pakistan, and initiated counter-missions whenever they were attacked.
“We were extremely proactive, which created a safer environment in the area,” he said.
Cardoza said that his unit drastically reduced the amount of attacks on the COP by conducting operations regularly and thoroughly in their area of responsibility.
“We went from receiving indirect fire about every four days when we first got there, to several weeks without any incidents,” he said.
Most importantly, everyone came back home alive and unharmed.
“We were very fortunate to not have any casualties during our deployment,” Cardoza said.
The actions taken by Angel Company during their deployment ultimately lead to mission success, both for the coalition and the Afghan Security Forces.
“Our guys did a great job,” said Cardoza. “The training paid off because the right decisions were made at the right times. It allowed us to be successful in our mission and turn the area of responsibility over to the ABP so they can operate independently.”