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U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve

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Kentucky Marines return home from Afghanistan deployment

By Cpl. Nana Dannsa-Appiah | 4th Marine Aircraft Wing | November 21, 2012

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Janna Schickel, wife of Staff Sgt. Matt Schickel, a platoon guide from Company E, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, welcomes her husband home Nov. 15, 2012, at Fort Knox, Ky., upon his return from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan.  The Lanesville, Ind., native was greeted by friends and family upon his arrival at Fort Knox. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Nana Dannsa-Appiah/Released)

Janna Schickel, wife of Staff Sgt. Matt Schickel, a platoon guide from Company E, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, welcomes her husband home Nov. 15, 2012, at Fort Knox, Ky., upon his return from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan. The Lanesville, Ind., native was greeted by friends and family upon his arrival at Fort Knox. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Nana Dannsa-Appiah/Released) (Photo by Cpl. Nana Dannsa-Appiah)


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Friends and family welcome back the Marines of Company E, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Nov. 15, 2012, at Fort Knox, Ky., after the Marines endured a six-month deployment to Afghanistan.  The unit cleared routes of roadside bombs and also helped develop an Afghan National Army route clearing company during their deployment. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Nana Dannsa-Appiah/Released)

Friends and family welcome back the Marines of Company E, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Nov. 15, 2012, at Fort Knox, Ky., after the Marines endured a six-month deployment to Afghanistan. The unit cleared routes of roadside bombs and also helped develop an Afghan National Army route clearing company during their deployment. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Nana Dannsa-Appiah/Released) (Photo by Cpl. Nana Dannsa-Appiah)


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Lexington, Ky., native Lance Cpl. Nicholas Perry of Company E, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, hugs his mother Nov. 15, 2012, at Fort Knox, Ky., after returning home from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan.  Perry’s mother, Alexis Houge, said she felt a huge relief after finally being able to see her son again. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Nana Dannsa-Appiah/Released)

Lexington, Ky., native Lance Cpl. Nicholas Perry of Company E, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, hugs his mother Nov. 15, 2012, at Fort Knox, Ky., after returning home from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan. Perry’s mother, Alexis Houge, said she felt a huge relief after finally being able to see her son again. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Nana Dannsa-Appiah/Released) (Photo by Cpl. Nana Dannsa-Appiah)


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Marines of Company E, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, reunite with their loved ones Nov. 15, 2012, at Fort Knox, Ky., after returning home from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan.  The Reserve company was responsible for clearing routes of roadside bombs during their deployment. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Nana Dannsa-Appiah/Released)

Marines of Company E, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, reunite with their loved ones Nov. 15, 2012, at Fort Knox, Ky., after returning home from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan. The Reserve company was responsible for clearing routes of roadside bombs during their deployment. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Nana Dannsa-Appiah/Released) (Photo by Cpl. Nana Dannsa-Appiah)


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Lance Cpl. Jefferey Rose, a tank crewman from Company E, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, meets his four-month year old son for the first time Nov. 15, 2012, at Fort Knox, Ky., after returning from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan.  The Nebo, Ky., native said seeing his son made him the happiest he has ever been. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Nana Dannsa-Appiah/Released)

Lance Cpl. Jefferey Rose, a tank crewman from Company E, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, meets his four-month year old son for the first time Nov. 15, 2012, at Fort Knox, Ky., after returning from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan. The Nebo, Ky., native said seeing his son made him the happiest he has ever been. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Nana Dannsa-Appiah/Released) (Photo by Cpl. Nana Dannsa-Appiah)


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FORT KNOX, Ky. --

The Marines of Company E, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, returned home to their friends and families Nov. 15 after a six-month deployment to Afghanistan, marking the end of an era for the 4th Marine Division and the Marine Corps Reserve.

 

After more than ten years of deploying ground combat forces to support operations in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the Co. E homecoming represents the final 4th Marine Division unit to deploy, fight, and redeploy from overseas combat operations.  Company E’s return to Fort Knox closes out the long and illustrious chapter of 4th Marine Division's support to Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

 

At the Marine Corps Reserve Training Center here, hugs, tears and smiles filled the parking lot as the Marines reunited with their loved ones.

 

For Lance Cpl. Jefferey Rose, a tank crewman from Nebo, Ky., it was the first time seeing his four-month year old son.

 

“I can’t describe the feeling,” Rose said as he cradled his son.  “Seeing pictures and hearing about it can’t beat the real feeling of actually seeing him.”

 

“It’s the happiest I’ve ever been,” he added.

 

For Alexis Houge, mother of Lance Cpl. Nicholas Perry, she was simply relieved to see her son.

 

“It’s a lot of relief and pride,” she said.  “I’m so glad to see him.  It feels like half of the world has been lifted off my shoulders.”

 

Company E was mobilized as a route clearance company and attached to 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division.  They used specialized vehicles to search for indicators of roadside bombs along routes in their area of operations.

 

One platoon of Co. E also partnered with the Route Clearance Company, 1st Brigade, 215th Corps of the Afghan National Army, to conduct patrols, weapons training, mission planning and land navigation.

 

Company E helped develop the partnered ANA route clearance company to a point that the Afghans could perform training and operations independent of coalition forces, said Maj. Mike O’Quin, commanding officer of Co. E.

 

The Reserve unit also brought peace of mind to their parent unit, Regimental Combat Team 5’s area of operations, and the Afghan people by removing roadside bombs or IEDs (improvised explosive device).

 

“Units were able to operate with a little more confidence each day, that they wouldn’t come across an IED, and local Afghans could live their daily lives without worrying that they or their children would be injured or killed by an IED indiscriminately placed by the enemy,” said O’Quin.

 

Company E’s training helped them prepare for Afghanistan.  Before their deployment, they had been involved in exercises such as Enhanced Mojave Viper and African Lion.

 

After serving as a route clearance company in Afghanistan, the unit returned to Fort Knox and plans to focus on tank-specific training in their upcoming drill weekends and annual training.

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