The last troops to support Operation Iraqi Freedom depart this week from Fort Carson. More than 100 soldiers left Wednesday and about 200 more will leave on Saturday.
Command Sergeant Major Terrance McWilliams says these last remaining soldiers will be the stabilization force to help the new Iraqi government get established. "The war is basically concluded, so now its those individuals who are still roaming around out there----sniper shots, suicide bombers---that's the inherent danger."
These troops are leaving at the tail end of the deployment, and they have mixed emotions. "In light of everything that's going on, we wish we would have been there a little bit sooner. But there's still quite a lot to do," says Second Lieutenant David Niederauer. "We've lost a lot of lives. We might go relieve them. We might go to Tikrit---who knows. It's all speculation at this point," says First Lieutenant Rick Galeano.
The 3rd ACR will get it's final directive from Central Command upon arrival. Then, finally, they'll get to do the job for which they were trained.
Fort Carson officials say 19,000 troops have mobilized from the post since January.