POSTED: 08:47 a.m. HST, Dec 13, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 12:40 a.m. HST, Dec 14, 2012
A group of Schofield Barracks helicopter pilots and mechanics returned home early Thursday morning in time for Christmas after spending nearly a year in Afghanistan.
The soldiers are members of the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade.
They were welcomed after deplaning from a chartered commercial jet at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam at 3:30 a.m. by Maj. Gen Kurt Fuller, commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division; Command Sgt. Maj. Ray Devens; and Lt. Col. Hunter Marshall, commander of the unit’s rear detachment.
In January, about 2,600 Hawaii soldiers with the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade left for a yearlong deployment to southern Afghanistan. The unit deployed with all of its 90 Black Hawk, Chinook and Kiowa Warrior helicopters.
The aviation brigade, with the addition of more than 400 soldiers and Apache attack helicopters from Colorado, was based at Kandahar, Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan province and Forward Operating Base Wolverine in Zabul province, officials said.