300 Spartans return from Afghanistan


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Neida Sanchez embraces her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Vladimir Sanchez, during a welcome home ceremony for about 300 men and women of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska.

Star photo by Mike Nesper

About 300 paratroopers from the Army's 4th Bridgade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division — the "Spartans" — arrived at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson early Thursday morning after a 10-month mission to Afghanistan.

The plane load of soldiers was the first "main body" transport to arrive at JBER. Combined with several advance flights that arrived earlier this fall, the most recent redeployment brings the total number of troops back in Alaska to 800 of the 3,500-soldier brigade.

The Army said the remaining 2,700 troops will return from eastern Afghanistan in a series of flights during the next three weeks.

Earlier this week, brigade commander Col. Morris Goins reflected on the 4-25th's time in Afghanistan and the ongoing redeployment efforts. Read that story here.

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