Soldiers with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment from Fort Hood, Texas, returned from a deployment to Iraq, Syria, and Kuwait, in February 60 combat badges richer.
Regiment Command Sgt. Maj. Adam Nash told reporters on Wednesday that roughly 30 Combat Action Badges and 30 Combat Infantry Badges were to "Brave Rifles" soldiers.
The CABs primarily went to the artillerymen the whose squadron fired more than 5,000 rounds from M777 Howitzers at enemy fighters during the course of the deployment.
"They may have been engaged several times, by either direct or indirect fire, and it's different for each one of the troopers that was awarded a CAB," Nash said. "It was a great time to be an artillerymen in the 3rd Cavalry Regiment."
The 3CR originally deployed Iraq in May 2018 in an advise-and-assist capacity, regiment commander, but several "Brave Rifles" elements operating in Syria to provide force protection were engaged with the enemy "pretty much the entire time," Lt. Col. Kent Park said.
"We were in a area, specifically our squadron, near the border, and we were able to provide fire support as required across the border into ISIS-held territory during that time," Park told reporters on Wednesday, adding that coalition allies were also engaged in fire support.
While CIBs went to 3CR soldiers who went on on patrols, Nash noted that there were "very few kinetic activities that our troopers were involved in," a testament to the effectiveness of the the advise-and-assist mission in building up the capacity of Iraqi security forces.
The 3CR did engage in combat activities, he added, though the mission "is very different now from what it was previously."
"We are doing everything by, with, and through our security partners," Park said. "[The Iraqis] are a battle-hardened force that had gone through a pretty significant experience in their fight against ISIS."
Park added that the Iraqi forces are different from what he remembered in his 2005-2006 deployment, as far as their "willingness to be out there in the lead and taking the fight to the enemy."
"They were motivated, and they wanted to get out there and fight," he said."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military on Sunday accused a Venezuelan fighter aircraft of "aggressively" shadowing a U.S. Navy EP-3 Aries II plane over international airspace, in yet another sign of the increasing hostility between the two nations.
The encounter between the U.S. and Venezuelan planes occurred on Friday, the same day that the Trump administration announced it was sanctioning four top officials in Venezuela's military counterintelligence agency.
In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Marines of the U.S., left, and South Korea, wearing blue headbands on their helmets, take positions after landing on a beach during the joint military combined amphibious exercise, called Ssangyong, part of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises, in Pohang, South Korea. (Associated Press/Yonhap/Kim Jun-bum)
Joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises scheduled for next month are going ahead, a top Seoul official said Saturday, despite a threat by North Korea to boycott working-level talks with Washington and possibly restart nuclear and longer-range missile tests.
(Reuters) - A former National Security Agency contractor was sentenced in Maryland to nine years in prison on Friday for stealing huge amounts of classified material from U.S. intelligence agencies over two decades though officials never found proof he shared it with anyone.