Several dozen Nebraskans are part of a detachment of 150 Marines and sailors who return to their home base in Iowa this weekend after spending seven months in Iraq. Roughly 30 of the Marines and sailors of Company E, 2nd Battalion are from Nebraska, while the rest are from Iowa and other surrounding states.
Lieutenant Colonel Philip Farr says about half of the Marines also spent time in Iraq between 2004 and 2005. “Those that have been gone twice are obviously going to be very happy to get back home,” Farr said. During this deployment, the Marines were sent to Al Anbar province. “They did a lot of active patroling, security missions and training of Iraqi police forces,” Farr said.
For the Marines who completed two deployments to Iraq, this mission offered a much more varied experience than the trip in 2004. “They were extremely different,” Farr says, “obviously the nature of things has changed quite a bit over there. They did a lot more training in security operations this time than they did the first time.”
Family and friends of the Marine Reserve Company will gather at Fort Des Moines for a “welcome home” ceremony Saturday evening. The Marines and sailors are expected to arrive at the Des Moines Airport at 9:30 P-M.