49th Trans Battalion Celebrates BIG Birthday

Story and Photo by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley
15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas — The 49th Transportation Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), celebrated its 72nd anniversary May 1, at a review ceremony at Sadowski Field here.

The ceremony included promotions, awards, and a speech by Lt. Col. Peter Haas, Commander 49th Trans and was attended by civilians, Soldiers, and students of Meredith Dunbar Elementary School.

“The 49th has aged pretty well, and is what I would call a ‘young 72,’” Haas said.

The battalion has served in Europe, at Fort Hood for 26 years, and in three tours to the Persian Gulf, Haas explained.

“At that age you could argue that the unit should be moving to Florida or Arizona to relax, soak up some sunshine, and enjoy a well earned retirement,” Haas quipped.

“But we’re not quite ready for bingo, shuffleboard and years of early bird specials just yet.”

The unit was last activated in 1982 and has served as a functional transportation movement control headquarters at Fort Hood since.

After the unit’s last deployment to Iraq, it took on more personnel and responsibilities.  In approximately three months, the unit went from 87 to nearly 1,000 Soldiers.

“That’s quite a growth spurt for a 72 year old,” Haas said.

Meredith Dunbar, 49th’s adopted school in Temple, had a group of elementary students present on a field trip.

Soldiers from the 49th TB volunteer regularly at Meredith Dunbar Elementary to aid in special programs and weekly tutoring.

“They help us out with our questions [from] math, reading, science, and social studies,” said Darnell Thomas, 9, a student at Meredith Dunbar.

On its next deployment to Iraq, 49th Trans is scheduled to run the Movement Control Headquarters for the all of the multi-national forces operating there.