In September and October 2001, the Polar Bears were once again called to arms to participate in the nation's War on Terror. From Maryland to Kuwait, Qatar and Uzbekistan the 31st protected American forces and facilities from terrorist attack. As America and its coalition partners struck back, the Polar Bears of the 4th Battalion deployed to Afghanistan, fighting in the Shah-I-Kowt Valley region and successfully eliminating it as a safe haven for international terrorism. In April 2002, the Polar Bears returned to Fort Drum, and in 2003 roughly 300 soldiers from the 4–31st deployed to Djibouti, Iraq, and Kabul, Afghanistan in support of CJTF-HOA as TF 4–31. Company C was one of the units identified as having deployed. C Company, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, conducted the various training exercises during in July 2003, while in Djibouti including known distance ranges, both in Djibouti and Ethiopia; reflexive fire ranges, both in Djibouti and Ethiopia; AK-47 range for familiarization of the weapon system; familiarization ranges for shotguns and 9 mm pistols; external sling load training with Heavy Marine Helicopter Company (HMH-461) both day and night iterations to help certify them; its mortar platoon underwent training on the mortar ballistic computer and the plotting board to further their proficiency. They also conducted military to military training in Hurso and provided a security mission in the capital Addis Ababa. In March 2003, B Company, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in order to conduct base defense and combat operations for CJTF-Arabian Peninsula. In May 2003, C/4-31 and the battalion's Mortar Platoon deployed to the Horn of Africa to conduct operations in Djibouti and Ethiopia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom for CJTF Horn of Africa. A/4-31 and HHC/4-31 deployed to Camp Phoenix in Kabul, Afghanistan to conduct security operations for CJTF-Phoenix which was training the Afghan National Army (ANA). Select members of the battalion were also designated as trainers for the ANA. In May 2004, the Polar Bears again deployed with the 2nd BCT in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon completion of training at Kuwait, the task force assumed responsibility for conducting combat operations in the Taji, Saba al Boor, Al Rasheed, Kadhamiya, Abu Ghraib, and Yusufiyah districts of Baghdad. The most significant event for the battalion was during the first ever Iraqi national elections, when TF 4–31 provided polling centers in the Kadhamiya area with security and other force protection measures. The battalion was then called upon to secure the Abu Ghraib Internment Facility from attacks. Before redeployment the battalion conducted task force level air assaults and raids in enemy strongholds south of Baghdad. TF 4–31 returned to Fort Drum in June 2005, where they continued to train and prepare for the next call to battle.
C Company, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, conducted the various training exercises during in July 2003, while in Djibouti including known distance ranges, both in Djibouti and Ethiopia; reflexive fire ranges, both in Djibouti and Ethiopia; AK-47 range for familiarization of the weapon system; familiarization ranges for shotguns and 9 mm pistols; external sling load training with Heavy Marine Helicopter Company (HMH-461) both day and night iterations to help certify them; its mortar platoon underwent training on the mortar ballistic computer and the plotting board to further their proficiency. They also conducted military to military training in Hurso and provided a security mission in the capital Addis Ababa.
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The U.S. government used the term "Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan" to officially describe the War in Afghanistan, from the period between October 2001 and December 2014.Continued operations in Afghanistan by the United States' military forces, both non-combat and combat, now occur under the name Operation Freedom's Sentinel.
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The Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) is a United States Army military award. The badge is awarded to infantrymen and Special Forces soldiers in the rank of Colonel and below, who personally fought in active ground combat while assigned as members of either an infantry, ranger or Special Forces unit, of brigade size or smaller, any time after 6 December 1941. The CIB and its non-combat contemporary, the Expert Infantryman Badge (EIB) were simultaneously created during World War II to enhance the morale and prestige of service in the infantry. Specifically, it recognizes the inherent sacrifices of all infantrymen, and that, in comparison to all other military occupational specialties, infantrymen face the greatest risk of being wounded or killed in action
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The Combat Action Badge (CAB) is a military badge worn by U.S. Army soldiers. The emblem features both an M9 bayonet and M67 grenade. The Combat Action Badge may be awarded to any soldier not eligible for the Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) or Combat Medical Badge (CMB) after the date of September 18, 2001 performing duties in an area where hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay is authorized, who is personally present and actively engaging or being engaged by the enemy, and performing satisfactorily in accordance with the prescribed rules of engagement. The CAB may be awarded to any branch of service or military occupational specialty including infantrymen except when serving in a role where they would be eligible for the CIB.
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