MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
More than 120 Marines and sailors with Battery I, 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment
, returned to the Combat Center
and into the arms of their loved ones late Dec.2 during a homecoming at Del Valle Field.
The battery, which deployed in June, primarily operated out of Helmand Province, Afghanistan as artillery support for Regimental Combat Team 3.
RCT-3 was also comprised of 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.; 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, out of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.; and 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, from Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
While in theater, 3rd Bn., 11th Marines’ duties were to conduct “traditional artillery missions as well as provisional infantry tasks,” said Capt. Chad Althiser, the battery’s commanding officer, from Worcester, N.Y.
These tasks included many firsts for the regiment, such as being the first Marine Corps artillery unit to use helicopters to lift an M777A2 Lightweight Howitzer in support of combat in Afghanistan, the first to deploy with rockets, cannons and counter-battery radars, and the first to use the M982 “Excalibur” Precision-Guided Extended-Range Artillery Projectile in combat, said Lt. Col. James Lewis, the battalion’s commanding officer.
After a successful deployment, the men of Battery I were given a warm welcome by their loved ones despite the chilly temperature and late hour.
“No others husbands could do what ours do,” said Brittney King, the wife of Lance Cpl. Anthony King, a motor transport operator with the battery, before his arrival. “We definitely have the best [husbands] out there.”
Brittney Cable, the wife of Cpl. Joshua Cable, a motor transport mechanic, played with her one-year-old daughter, Makenzie, and chatted with King to pass the time.
“Adjusting to the every day stuff was difficult,” she said. “Our husbands do so much for us. I’m very grateful not only for what they do for us, but also what they do for the world.”
More than 100 Marines and sailors with Headquarters Battery returned to the Combat Center today.