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4-6 Cav’s S. Korea mission complete

7th Infantry Division Public Affairs

Published: 05:29PM June 19th, 2014
140620_46comeshomeart

Staff Sgt. Mark Miranda

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Christopher Whitmus greets family members with fellow 4-6 Cav. Soldiers who returned to JBLM following a nine-month tour in the Republic of Korea. Reunions with families took place at Soldiers Field House June 11.

Friends and families of Soldiers assigned to the 4th Attack Reconnaissance Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, welcomed their loved ones home after a long wait during the June 11 homecoming ceremony at Soldiers Field House.

The squadron, finishing its nine-month tour in South Korea, redeployed more than 120 Soldiers on the Wednesday homecoming flight, with the rest returning in the coming weeks.

After landing at McChord Field, the Soldiers rode buses to Soldiers Field House, where a crowd cheered as the formation marched into the gym.

They were welcomed by 7th Infantry Division chief of staff, Col. Daniel Walrath.

“Welcome home; thank you for your continued resolve in the defense of the peninsula of Korea. Thank you for your service, and thank you for what you have established, the example you’ve set for the Army,” Walrath said. “To the families, though we are thankful this was not a combat deployment, we recognize that it is still a deployment for your Soldier away from home for nine months. We thank you for your continued sacrifice.”

The pilots assigned to 4-6 ARS flew the OH-58 Kiowa helicopter, used for scouting and observation duty and light-attack combat missions.

Sergeant Michael Farr, an intelligence analyst assigned to the squadron, was among the Soldiers happy to reunite with his family.

“We’re among the first units to do this rotational concept in Korea and so we were a ‘proof of concept model,” Farr said. “We did a lot of training, and we had to figure out a lot on our own. It was high-paced. We did a lot of training — a lot of gunneries, and we got to see a little bit of how the training cycle works up there.”

The 4-6 Cav. partnered with a Republic of Korea unit, the 103rd ROK Aviation.

“They worked with our pilots, observed how we did training,” Farr said. “We also worked with Korean augmentees to the U.S. Army. They work as sort of liaisons with us, help us understand Korean culture, helped us overcome the language barriers. Overall it was a great experience.”

With its mission complete, plans for the squadron will include taking post-deployment leave. This year, the unit is planned for inactivation, and its Soldiers will be moving on to new units.