CAMP PHOENIX, Afghanistan - All across Afghanistan, Task Force Guam's remaining troops are completing the last stages of Operation Enduring Freedom and closing on officially ending their historic mission.
Echo Company and Headquarters-Headquarters Company ceremoniously furled their unit guidons Dec. 23, signifying they've completed their Afghanistan responsibilities and can now concentrate on redeploying. Likewise, Charlie Company at Camp Eggers and Foxtrot Company at Kandahar Airfield were slated to end unit missions yesterday as well.
As a whole, 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment, Guam Army National Guard will case its colors after Christmas Day, thus concluding OEF and officially handing responsibilities to 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, U.S. Army. The 508th has already assumed missions and, technically, occupied just about all office space Guam soldiers utilized the past nine months.
"Today was significant and very important. This basically closes our mission," said Echo commander Capt. Joey C. San Nicolas. "This brings an end to our service in Afghanistan in defense of our freedom."
Alpha Company at Camp Spann is scheduled transfer its authority today. Delta Company already transferred responsibilities to its replacements and is already out of Camp Stone, its home since arriving in Afghanistan in April.
Close to two dozen HHC soldiers stood in formation as Capt. Gene Guerrero, HHC commander, and 1st Sgt. John T. Johnson, first sergeant, rolled their unit guidon to close their OEF duty.
"It's closure for our company from the missions we've been doing the past eight and a half months," added Capt. Eugene Guerrero, HHC commander. "This lets the soldiers know we did a good job. Our mission was accomplished, that's the significance of casing our colors."
"This was very important to us because Echo Company alone was built specifically for this mission," added San Nicolas. "It's good to acknowledge the more than 1,700 missions we successfully completed, and at the same time acknowledge the ultimate sacrifice that our fallen heroes had paid in service to Echo, the battalion and our island."
Majority of Task Force Guam soldiers have already departed Afghanistan and are en route to Camp Shelby, Miss., for redeployment processing. Guam troops still in Afghanistan will leave the country in less than a week.