- Associated Press - Friday, December 18, 2015

FORT JACKSON, S.C. (AP) - As the clock strikes midnight, some 6,000 Army soldiers from Fort Jackson begin heading home for the holidays.

In an annual tradition at the Army’s largest training installation, soldiers start to leave in the early morning hours Friday and continue leaving throughout the day.

Fort Jackson spokesman Pat Jones says it takes organizers months to arrange the massive transport by bus, trains, planes and private cars.

Senior enlisted officers are pre-positioned at airports in Columbia and Charlotte, North Carolina, to assist soldiers making airline connections.

Jones says the soldiers are in 10 weeks of basic combat training or in courses involving advanced types of training. They are all given about two weeks’ time off and must return by midnight Jan. 4.

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