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XVIII Airborne Corps ceremony marks official return to Fort Bragg

Posted December 19, 2014

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— The XVIII Airborne Corps signaled its official return to Fort Bragg Friday morning during an uncasing ceremony at the Main Post Parade Field.

Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson presided over the ceremony, which marks a ceremonial end to the mission in Afghanistan, which began in 2002 for Fort Bragg troop.

"It's important for us to honor our lineage. It's important for us to recognize what the Corps has done throughout history, but it's the way you close one chapter and start a new one," Anderson said.

The XVIII Airborne Corps has been deployed much of the year in Afghanistan and was tasked with shutting down America's involvement in the 14-year conflict.

"The good news is we didn't leave (Afghanistan) like we did in Iraq, which was a very hard to thing to do," Anderson said. "We knew leaving Iraq totally was going to be a risky thing, and it obviously turned out to be that way."

Fifty-two Marines and service members died in the past year.

"That's always a difficult time, and it makes you reflect about why we do what we do," Anderson said. "But it also gives you the energy to move forward and continue in their honor."

Anderson said he doesn't expect a large unit from the United States going back to Afghanistan in a combat role.

About 1,000 soldiers from Fort Bragg's 82nd Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, however, will deploy for to Iraq for nine months in late January to train, advise and assist Iraqi security forces.

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