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82nd CAB helicopters arrive at Port of Wilmington after yearlong deployment


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Don't be surprised if you see a few dozen military helicopters over the Port City the next couple of weeks. They're on their way home from Afghanistan.

More than 30 helicopters from the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade out of Fort Bragg will arrive at the Port of Wilmington from Afghanistan this week. 82nd CAB soldiers will reassemble the choppers, including AH-64 Apache, CH-47 Chinook and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, before flying them back to Simmons Army Airfield at Fort Bragg throughout the next two weeks.

The aircraft belong to the brigade's fleet of helicopters that were flown in eastern Afghanistan during the brigade's year-long deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom over the past year.

"As the brigade looks toward redeployment, we're proud to know we've made a difference in the most active battlefield in Afghanistan, Regional Command-East. We apologize for the noise over the next few weeks, but please be patient with us as we make our final flights of this deployment," 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade Commander Col. T.J. Jamison said in a news release.

While the pilots will take efforts to minimize increased noise by taking off in the opposite direction of residential areas, residents may still hear the helicopters taking off or flying over as they begin the final leg of their journeys back to Fort Bragg.

The 82nd CAB deployed more than 2,500 Fort Bragg troops to eastern Afghanistan, where they provided aviation presence over an active battle space of 43,000 square miles. Throughout the year-long deployment, the 82nd CAB flew more than 175,000 hours and completed more than 2,500 Medevac missions.

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