1st Sust. Bde. prepares for deployment
Col. Brian Tempest, left, and Command Sgt. Maj. Virgil McCloud, command team for the 1st Sust. Bde., case the brigade’s flag Aug. 27 during a ceremony at Cavalry Parade Field. More than 300 Soldiers from the “Durable” Brigade will soon join their “Big Red One” teammates in Afghanistan. Photo by: Mollie Miller, 1ST INF. DIV.
Story by: Mollie Miller
1ST INF. DIV. PUBLIC AFFAIRS
A 1st Infantry Division team that will soon be responsible for the longest main supply route in Afghanistan moved one step closer to its third deployment in five years Aug. 27 as the 1st Sustainment Brigade flag was cased during a ceremony at Cavalry Parade Field.
"We look forward to showing what this great team is capable of doing," said Col. Brian Tempest, 1st Sust. Bde. commander. "We have worked long and hard to prepare, (and) it is once again our turn to make a contribution to our nation and continue the proud legacy of this brigade."
During a ceremony steeped in long-standing Army traditions, the command team from the "Durable" Brigade joined the teams from the brigade's Special Troops Battalion, Headquarters and Headquarters Company and the 267th Signal Company, as they rolled their unit flags and placed them gently in a camouflage sleeve. The cased colors will travel with their respective units to Afghanistan, where they will be unfurled once the brigade officially assumes the sustainment mission from the 10th Sustainment Brigade.
"(Today), we take the time to honor the professionalism, commitment and courage of the outstanding Soldiers assembled on the field," said Brig. Gen. Donald MacWillie, senior commander, Fort Riley. "These men and women have worked hard to prepare for their mission. Each Soldier knows his part on the team and has been tested and certified – they are ready."
Deployment preparations for the brigade's Soldiers began more than a year ago, shortly after the Durable troops returned from Iraq in early 2011. During the past 12-plus months, the Soldiers have received extensive theater-specific training to prepare them for the culture, geography and missions they will find in Afghanistan. The Durable Brigade also has completed four training exercises that allowed the Soldiers to test and refine plans and processes.
Command Sgt. Maj. Virgil McCloud, the brigade's senior noncommissioned officer, said training exercises that have taken his Soldiers as far away as Alaska have left the team well prepared for the mission that awaits them down range.
"The Soldiers are well trained, and their morale is very high," he said. "They are ready to go and get this very important mission started."
While in Afghanistan, the brigade's mission will revolve around providing the warfighters on the ground everything they need to ensure success. From bullets and food to mail and money, Durable Soldiers will be responsible for providing vital sustainment support throughout Regional Command-North, Regional Command-East and Regional Command-Capital, as well as other regions all along the country's longest main supply route.
"Coalition forces in Afghanistan cannot function nor succeed without the important service our Durable Soldiers will provide," MacWillie said.
Dozens of friends and Family members attended the morning ceremony to wish the Durable Brigade Soldiers well, as they wrap up the final preparations for the deployment. Macy Doyen, 2, attended the ceremony with her mom, Jenny. The Doyen girls wanted to make sure their Soldier, Lt. Greg Doyen, knew he had all the support in the world waiting for him at home.
"We all wish you well in your mission," MacWillie said, as he addressed the troops on the field. "May God bless you and your Families in the times ahead. We look forward to the day you return to unfurl your beautiful colors once again."