U.S. Army soldiers assigned to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, who were deployed to the Middle East earlier this year as the U.S. and Iran appeared to headed towards war, returned home to North Carolina as their support is no longer needed.
"The Division executed a no notice deployment with the Immediate Response Force Brigade (1st Brigade Combat Team), rapidly projecting combat power into the CENTCOM area of responsibly. This was the most significant no notice deployment of combat forces in more than 30 years and a remarkable and historic effort by the logistical nodes on Fort Bragg, N.C.," the 82nd Airborne Division said.
The soldiers were deployed to the region after Iranian-backed militias attacked the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Iraq during New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Around 100 U.S. Marines are being sent to reinforce the embassy. The Marines are based out of Kuwait and are assigned to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command.
In response, President Trump ordered the U.S. military to conduct a missile strike on Iranian terrorist leader Qasem Soleimani, the leader of Iran's Quds Forces, and Kataib Hezbollah leader Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes. Soleimani and al-Mohandes were in a car at Baghdad's international airport when the strike was carried out. Soleimani was responsible for many deaths in the Middle East, including around 600 Americans.
Iran threatened serve retaliation, prompting the U.S. to send elements of the 82nd Airborne Division to the Middle East in case full blown war broke out. Iran then launched missiles at bases in Iraq where American troops were stationed at. While no one was killed in the attacks, up to 100 American service members were sent to be monitored and treated for traumatic brain injuries as a result of the impacts. Some have since returned to full duty.