4th Sustainment HQ Deploys in Support of OIF
Story and photos by Cpl. John D. Ortiz
4th Sus. Bde. Public Affairs
FORT HOOD, TX — Marking the official beginning of the 4th Sustainment Brigade’s deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Soldiers of the ‘Wrangler’ Brigade bid farewell to family and friends during a ceremony at the 13th SC(E) Gym, Mar. 4.
This marks a unique and first deployment for the brigade after it transformed and became part of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) under the Army’s new modularization plan, in that the brigade is split between two theaters of operations with the 502nd Human Resource Company deployed to Afghanistan and the rest of the unit going to Kuwait.
Although more than 50 Soldiers from the brigade’s Brigade Troops Battalion have already deployed to the region to help prepare for the arrival of the brigade overseas, more than 400 troops are scheduled to hit the ground by the end of the month.
The ‘Wrangler’ brigade will be in-charge of sustaining the force in Iraq by supplying all logistical assets to unit’s in-country by means of the ‘Wrangler Express.’
The Soldiers’ day began early as they prepared for their trips on Tuesday morning. Their day kicked off with 2 A.M. formations, where the Soldiers drew their assigned weapons and boarded a bus headed for the gym.
From 6 A.M. to 8:00 A.M., Soldiers spent their last hours with family, savoring their last moments with loved ones.
At approximately 8:20, Maj. Yo Lee, the 4th Sustainment Brigade Chaplain, said a benediction, praying for their safe flight and passage to Kuwait.
When the ceremony concluded, Soldiers said their last good-byes to their loved ones and boarded a bus moving on to Robert Gray Army Airfield.
At the airfield, a host of well-wishers and goodie bags awaited the Soldiers before they boarded their flights to the Middle East.
For a large portion of the Soldiers, the deployment to Kuwait marks a return to the Central Command Area of Responsibility – and they said they will share their experiences on how to overcome the potential hardship with their fellow Soldiers marking their first trip to a combat zone.
Soldier says goodbye to his wife