In the early hours of the morning, the last soldiers of our task force caught their flights out of Camp Taqqadum and left our work in Iraq to others. Badger 6 has a post up over at Badgers Forward summarizing the year for our company. I'll do a post of my own sometime in the next few weeks with more detail.
Missions Performed - 647
Improvised Explosive Devices Reduced - 458
Kilometers Traveled - 51135
To put those numbers in perspective:
Our missions lasted anywhere from 2 to 60 hours, but were commonly around 8 (not including 2 hours prep time for each mission). The longest mission any platoon conducted without stopping for rest was somewhere around 24 hours. Those kilometers rolled by at a glacial pace that rarely exceeded 30 kilometers per hour and was often much slower. Most importantly, we believe that each bomb we found potentially saved between 1 and 5 American or Iraqi lives. That means that our company alone could easily have saved over 2000 lives.
We brought 102 men to war, if my memory serves. Among those, 97 experienced at least one attack by the enemy and earned the Combat Action Badge. All three of our medics earned the Combat Medical Badge, for giving medical aid in combat. Those same medics helped save the lives of several of our soldiers- 35 of 102 received a Purple Heart for wounds received during an engagement with the enemy. Sadly, three of our best were killed in action.
We are going home.