MANAS AIR BASE, KYRGYZSTAN — After a 25-hour trip, members of Fort Bragg's 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade arrived in Kyrgyzstan Monday to make their final preparations before traveling to nearby Afghanistan for a one-year deployment.
The three-day stop at the training center at Manas Air Base, near the Kyrgyzstan capital of Bishkek, will be the troops' last stop before heading to Bagram Air Base, near Kabul, Afghanistan.
"My head is on a swivel, and I'm ready for the training to get me prepared for my final destination," Sgt. Lindsey Carr said. "I'm ready for whatever (happens) ... I'm just motivated."
Pfc. Chris Snyder said the impact of the deployment into Afghanistan's turbulent atmosphere set in Saturday as he said goodbye to his family at Fort Bragg.
"It was when I was leaving my family at the hangar," Snyder said. "It kind of hit me then."
Yet, he and others said they are looking forward instead of back so they can focus on their training and mission, which they have been preparing for for the past year.
"To a certain extent, you're kind of relieved that you've made it this far," Capt. Melissa Shelton said. "But you're also ready to get to your final destination and do your mission – do what you're here to do."