Camp Pendleton Marines involved in Kabul attack return home
Waves of Marines are returning from Afghanistan to Camp Pendleton, after a harrowing deployment that included defending the Hamid Karzai International Airport as part of the evacuation of Kabul in August.
The roughly 1,000 Marines from the 2nd Battalion 1st Marine Division have been arriving in batches over the past couple weeks. Another 281 Marines from the arrived Sunday to a hero’s welcome at the unit’s home base of Camp Horno, at the northern end of Camp Pendleton.
Families were given little information as they watched the mass evacuation from Kabul unfold from San Diego.
The commander of the unit didn’t speak publicly to them during the brief ceremony. Instead, the Marines and sailors marched into the parade area, where they were almost immediately dismissed to the cheers of their waiting families.
Over the last couple weeks, parts of the unit have been filtering back to Southern California from the Middle East, after leaving Kabul at the end of August with the rest of the American troops.
The battalion lost nine Marines along with a Navy corpsman assigned to the unit during an attack outside the airport, making them among the last American’s killed in the 20-year-long war in Afghanistan. Another 15 Marines were being treated at Walter Reed Medical Center. 1st Marine acknowledged that at least some of the wounded are from Pendleton. Two Marines remain hospitalized, one in serious but stable condition. The other is listed as very serious but stable.
The unit left in Pendleton in April, as part of the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Crisis Response Central Command. Their mission is to be deployed outside the U.S. so they can respond quickly to a crisis. Most of the Marines who arrived Sunday were deployed to Kabul in mid-August to aid in the evacuation. Gulf company, which was the unit directly involved in the Aug. 26 attack, has already arrived quietly in the last couple weeks.