MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS Calinf. --
The 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion Wolf Pack has finally left for their long awaited deployment to Helmand province, Afghanistan throughout the week.
While the Marines hated saying goodbye to their loved ones, they were excited to finally take their chance to get “into the fight.”
“We are stoked,” said Cpl. Craig Baginski, a squad leader with 3rd LAR. “We are done practicing. We are ready for the real game. Put me in, coach.”
There is a mission to accomplish in Afghanistan, and the Marines and sailors of 3rd LAR know their purpose, how to accomplish their mission and there is full confidence in their capacity to fulfill its mission, said Lt. Col. Ken Kassner, 3rd LAR’s battalion commander.
“Our purpose is to protect the Afghan people from insurgent threat and intimidation,” he said. “As an LAR battalion, we can achieve it by stabilizing the area, actively engaging the local leadership, participating with security forces and working to promote the local governance.”
The battalion is fully equipped and ready for their mission, said Cpl. Jesse Keeney.
“We aren’t going down due to lack of firepower,” he said, laughing.
The Pack seemed to have a mutual feeling of excitement and readiness upon its departure.
“We are very excited, the Wolf Pack team trained and worked hard together,” Kassner said. “This is my fourth deployment with [this] LAR in less than six years. I am confident in its capabilities.”
The battalion was trained aboard the Combat Center with the help of several supporting units and was thankful for those who helped prepare them for combat.
“The professional competency in our warfighting capability that resides in the unit is due to training support received at the Combat Center,” Kassner said. “[Tactical Training Exercise Control Group] and [Marine Corps Tactics and Operations Group] worked closely with us to sharpen our skills. I am very grateful as commander in all the support.”
The men of 3rd LAR will be taking over for 1st LAR in Afghanistan and expect to return home around May 2011.