Local News

Soldiers from Fort Drum hand off to 82nd in Afghanistan

Posted October 5, 2011 2:58 p.m. EDT
Updated May 10, 2012 10:45 p.m. EDT

— As the nation prepares to mark 10 years since the United States launched its military campaign in Afghanistan on Friday, soldiers from the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Bragg were settling in for their one-year deployment at Bagram Airfield. 

The last wave of 82nd CAB soldiers are expected to arrive by the end of the week, bringing the total number of Fort Bragg troops deployed in Bagram to 2,500. A WRAL News crew traveled with the latest group to deploy and watched Wednesday as they set up shop at their new duty station.

Sgt. 1st Class Eric Pahon was checking equipment and getting advice from the departing 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Drum, N.Y., at the Army's public affairs office on base.

"Right now it's a little disorienting, so we're kind of making a plan as we go, trying to figure out what our job is and how we're going to do it," Pahon said.

Sgt. 1st Class J.R. Williams, from the 10th, was helping Pahon and other troops get situated in their new office, sharing what has worked and what hasn't over the last year.

"There's so much you want to tell them. There's so much you want to pass on," Williams said. "I'm like, 'here's the keys, get started on stories, have a great year.'"

Pahon said he appreciated the help as Williams and his comrades look forward to being home on American soil.

"A soldier will give the shirt off their back for another soldier, so it's the same thing with these guys," Pahon said. "We know they're leaving, and they've done their time, and now it's our turn to do ours."