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JBLM artillerymen come home from a year firing the big guns in Afghanistan

Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on Sep. 4, 2012 at 11:02 am with No Comments »
September 4, 2012 11:02 am
About 200 Joint Base Lewis-McChord artillerymen on Monday came home from an 11-month deployment in Afghanistan. Photo by Army Spc. Nathan Goodall.

A battalion of Joint Base Lewis-McChord artillerymen came home to the South Sound on Monday, ending an 11-month deployment to eastern Afghanistan.

About 200 soldiers from Lewis-McChord’s 1st Battalion, 377th Field Artillery Regiment of the 17th Fires Brigade made the trip home.

Their mission centered on firing artillery batteries at enemy targets, often during or just after attacks on NATO forward bases.

Two soldiers in the battalion lost their lives on May 18 at a base in Asadabad when an enemy rocket struck their artillery battery. Sgts. Michael Knapp and Jabraun Knox were remembered as caring fathers and dedicated soldiers at a Lewis-McChord memorial in June.

Lewis-McChord still has more than 9,000 soldiers in Afghanistan as the U.S. draws down its footprint in the war this fall. The Pentagon had more than 90,000 service members in Afghanistan when the Lewis-McChord artillery battalion deployed in October 2011. By the end of this month, that number is expected to fall to 68,000.

Check out more photos from Monday’s homecoming at the 17th Fires Brigade’s Facebook page.

Photos by Army Spc. Nathan Goodall.
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