Gen. Blount Returns from Iraq - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/22

Gen. Blount Returns from Iraq

Blount hands over the division's colors. Blount hands over the division's colors.
The man who led the "Tip of the Spear" into Iraq is back home at Ft. Stewart.

Just after noon today, Maj. Gen. Buford Blount, along with about 200 soldiers, landed at Hunter Army Airfield. Gen. Blount also brought home the Third ID's colors, signifying the official return of the division headquartered in Hinesville.

The Third ID was the first to march into Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Gen. Blount tells WTOC that he's very pleased with the way the mission played out.

"The division performed magnificently. We went over there with a specified mission to perform and the soldiers and equipment just did magnificently throughout the war," he said. "It's great to be able to bring them home now."

Gen. Blount tells WTOC the remaining 1,500 Third ID soldiers still in the Middle East should be home in the next few days.

"I have no Third ID soldiers in Baghdad. Everybody's in Kuwait and in the process of redeployment," said Blount. "Everybody has a scheduled plane ticket now and so, within the next four days, I think everybody is going to be home."

Home, that is, from a long and difficult war. The Third ID spent 21 days in continuous combat, and engaged several divisions of the Republican Guard and the Ba'ath Party Militia. Through April 9, the Third ID flew nearly a thousand close support missions. The division artillery conducted more than 600 missions, while keeping casualties to 42.

Stay with WTOC for coverage of the return of the Third ID.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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