Y-K Delta soldiers deployed to Afghanistan for the past year are arriving back in the region starting Thursday. They are with the 143rd Infantry Regiment of the First Battalion Airborne Bravo Company. The nationally recognized soldiers were deployed to Afganistan as security personnel in three provinces for a year. KYUK’s Sophie Evan spoke with a few of the soldiers as they are being debriefed in Indiana and filed this report.
The soldiers’ Company commander Captain Jason Caldwell of Bethel says it was their mission in Afganistan to help the government get into a position where they could help their own people. Caldwell describes the land they were in for the past year.
Cut 3 “there are a lot of mountains, there’s not a lot of green, very rocky terrain and the elevation is 65 to 7 thousand feet.”
Cut 4 “ sometimes we’d get these massive dust storms that come in and coat everything with dirt.”
Caldwell says they had to work in sweltering conditions where the temperatures reached 120-degrees. The soldiers in full combat dress had to watch out for each other’s.
Cut 5 “we had to make sure each soldier was drinking water, you couldn’t just stop to get into the truck just to get cooled, you had to look out for each other and drink some water, the squad leaders had to rotate their people around, they could cool them down if they needed to, it was a challenge”
Staff Sergeant Caleb Funk of Hooper Bay says he made many friends during his deployment.
Cut 7 “meeting with all the soldiers that I wasn’t able to connect with getting to know them, all great people.”
Caldwell says everyone is looking forward to going home for the holidays.
Cut 6 “ I’m really proud of the soldiers, they did a wonderful job, everyone stepped up and did what they need to do, ……. Let them know how proud of them you are.”
Sergeant Funk says their mission was successful. . .and also safe.
c. funk cut 1 “I’m really happy that we had no casualties everyone is making it back home.