Sustainment troops return home

By Staff Sgt. Rob Strain
15th Sus. Bde. Public Affairs

KILLEEN, Texas — Nearly 40 Soldiers from the 49th Transportation Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), returned home to Killeen and Fort Hood Sept. 15 after serving more than a year in Iraq.

The Soldiers, from the battalion’s 80th and 259th Movement Control Teams, had the mission of coordinating movement of cargo and passengers in and around Iraq for Multi-National Division-North and the area of southern Iraq near Tallil Air Base, said Capt. Chuck Razek, the commander of the 80th MCT.

“Part of our mission on Q-West was to be the first Soldiers anybody sees when they get to Q-West, when they fly in, and also when they fly out,” Razek, a Bay City, Mich., native, said.

According to the battalion’s commander Lt. Col. Pete Haas, the movement control Soldiers, although small in number, have a great impact on the mission in Iraq.

“Nothing moves in Iraq without the work of teams just like these guys - absolutely nothing.

“Without their work, our troops don’t eat, our troops don’t get ammunition, our troops don’t deploy, and they don’t get to go home without the direct involvement of these Soldiers,” Haas, a Fleetwood, Pa., native, said.

Haas went on to say that often times the work of these Soldiers goes unnoticed, as long as they are doing their job correctly.

“It really is a mission of great importance and huge impact,” Haas said.

For Spc. Printin McKenzie, a 20-year-old Montezuma, Ga., native and one of the Soldiers with the 259th MCT, the deployment, which was his first, was a great experience, and the unit’s leadership got him through.

During the deployment, McKenzie was promoted twice, from private to private first class and then again from private first class to specialist.

Now, that he’s home, McKenzie is looking forward to taking leave so that he can go back home and spend time with his family, especially his three brothers, whom are also in the Army.

McKenzie is looking to get promoted to sergeant soon, so that he can help take care of Soldiers like his noncommissioned officers took care of him.

According to Haas, the 49th Trans Battalion has to more companies currently deployed, one to Iraq and the other to Kuwait. Both of them deployed recently and are not scheduled to return until next year.

 


Soldiers from the 80th and 259th Movement Control Teams, 49th Transportation Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), return to Killeen/Fort Hood Regional Airport Sept. 15 after spending more than a year in Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Rob Strain, 15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs)