‘Big Red One’ headquarters to return from Iraq

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Lt. Gen. Sean B. MacFarland pats the shoulder of Maj. Gen. Joseph M. Martin Tuesday at Fort Riley. Martin was welcomed as the newest commanding general of Fort Riley and the 1st Infantry Division. (Staff photo by Brady Bauman)

More than 300 soldiers with the 1st Infantry Division headquarters are set to return this month from a nine-month deployment to Iraq and Kuwait. The first welcome-home ceremony is scheduled for 4 a.m. Friday at Fort Riley’s Camp Funston.

The “Big Red One” headquarters deployed in October 2016 and assumed the role of Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – Operation Inherentm Resolve. In that role, the division headquarters provided command and control of coalition troops training, advising and assisting Iraqi Security Forces.

While deployed, Maj. Gen. Joseph Martin, 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley commanding general, served as commanding general of CJFLCC. During that time, 1.8 million people were liberated in Mosul, Iraq, which has been under ISIS control since June 2014. Since October 2016, more than 350,000 children have returned to school in Mosul, 320 schools have reopened and 195,000 internally displaced persons have returned to their homes in Mosul.

Under the 1st Inf. Div.’s leadership, 30,000 Iraqi Security Forces Soldiers were trained and almost 5,000 square kilometers of ground was liberated in Mosul.

All members of Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Inf. Div., are expected to return by the end of July.

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