A nine-month deployment to Afghanistan ends for the 497th Movement Control Team when 19 soldiers return to Lawson Army Airfield at Fort Benning.
The soldiers are assigned to the 203rd Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Kelley Hill, said Maj. Ellis Gales, a brigade spokesman. They are scheduled to arrive in two groups for a ceremony Friday afternoon at Lawson Army Airfield.
Since deploying to the Middle East in July, the soldiers have been under the leadership of Capt. Rori Chrisco-Janker, the commander, and Sgt. 1st Class Joseph White, the top non-commissioned officer.
Soldiers performed a series of duties at the Kandahar Airfield. They included assisting with the closure of 14 bases and the preparation for closures at the Forward Operating Base Shank and Forward Operating Base Ghazni. U.S. forces are preparing to leave Afghanistan by the end of this year.
The “Sledgehammer” soldiers were partners with Slovak, Bulgarian and other NATO forces to increase force protection at Kandahar’s two major entry control points. They also provided movement control and in-transit visibility for more than 35,000 transportation assets to support redeployment and redistribution operations.
The group cleared a backlog of more than 3,000 movement requests, reducing fraudulent claims against the government.
At least 96 contracted personnel were managed to perform a contract valued at $1.7 million.
The Movement Control Team deployed to Afghanistan four months after 2,000 members of the brigade soldiers returned from a nine-month deployment to Kuwait. They returned to Fort Benning in March 2013 after taking part in training exercises with the Kuwaitis.