Hundreds of Fort Bliss soldiers deploy to Europe

More than 400 Fort Bliss soldiers are off to Europe. Their hope is to be back in the Borderland for the holidays.

The men and women are from the 1st Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade. They are known as the Iron Dragons.

"Our aircraft are the Apaches, on of the most lethal aircraft in our inventory," said Command Sgt. Maj. Terrence Reyes while explaining how the moniker originated. "So, when you think about, just like when a Dragon breathes fire, once our pilots pull the trigger, nothing but fire comes out."

The soldiers are taking part in a regular rotation in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. They will start in Germany and eventually train in approximately a dozen European counties.

"We're fortunate to be called upon to do our job, but at the same time, it's always sad to say goodbye to our family members," said Reyes.

While all the soldiers CBS4 spoke with say they were eager to continue their training overseas, their spouses were not always quite as excited.

"Basically, he told me this is what I have to do to be with him," said newlywed Kiana Moore-Golema of her husband Raymond. "I'm not handling it too well. I'm trying not to cry. I just to have to be strong. as we build our future ."

Prior to deployment the 1-501st spent more than a year training, including a rotation at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California. The deployment is scheduled to last nine months.

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