Nearly 300 Fort Carson soldiers were welcomed home Tuesday after nine months in the Middle East.

Soldiers from the post's 3rd Brigade Combat Team returned to the post in two contingents: One of 240 soldiers arrived early in the morning, and the next of 55 soldiers came in the early afternoon.

The 4,500-soldier brigade headed overseas last winter and served in Kuwait and elsewhere training American allies. The mission came as American worries about the Islamic State terror group grew, leaving the 3rd Brigade as the closest American unit if leaders decided to send U.S. ground troops into direct fighting in Iraq and Syria.

Most of the brigade spent the deployment in Kuwait, but elements were sent to neighboring nations, including Jordan.

"Their deployment provided combatant commanders a versatile, responsive, and consistently available Army force to meet requirements across a range of military operations in the region," Fort Carson said in a news release. "These military operations included ongoing operational and contingency operations, operational support and theater security cooperation activities, as well as bilateral and multilateral military exercises that extended over 13 countries throughout the region."

Senior Military Editor

Tom Roeder is the Gazette's senior military editor. In Colorado Springs since 2003, Tom covers seven military installations in Colorado, including five in the Pikes Peak region. His main job, though, is being dad to two great kids.

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