4th SB HQ Soldiers come home, 1st Med Bde HQ Soldiers case colors for a deployment

Just another day in the 13th SC(E)

Story by Staff Sgt. Joel F. Gibson
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas — Within 24 hours of one another, Soldiers of the 4th Sustainment Brigade Headquarters and Soldiers of the 1st Medical Brigade HQ, celebrated opposite ends of the spectrum of a deployment.

More than 120 Soldiers from the 4th SB returned to Fort Hood after a 15-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 11 a.m. May 26, while Soldiers of 1st Med Bde cased their unit colors as a symbolic cessation of garrison responsibilities, prior to their deployment in support of OIF in a ceremony 10 a.m. May 27.

During the redeployment ceremony, Brig. Gen. Paul Wentz, commanding general, 13th SC(E), addressed the returning Soldiers with three simple messages.

“I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am,” Wentz said, “Senior leaders at every level from here to Iraq have nothing but great things to say about you.”

Wentz added the important role that the Family Readiness Group played in the well-being of the Wrangler Brigade Soldiers, and the fact that the time right after a deployment can be very dangerous for returning Soldiers, “Stay alert, and don’t turn this joyous time into tragedy.”

While based primarily out of Kuwait, the 4th SB conducted theater distribution, sustainment operations and contract oversight for the entire theater of operations, said Col. Terence Hermans, commanding officer, 4th SB.

“Theater distribution was, without a doubt, our most important mission,” said Hermans, “Getting units and cargo into and out of Iraq was critical for the success of the warfighters.”

Hermans wasn’t just at the ceremony as a leader, it was his homecoming ceremony as well.

“I’m very excited to have my husband and all the troops home, it was a long deployment and the whole family is very excited to see him,” said Corinne Hermans.

Sgt. 1st Class Sharon Johnson-Harper, contingency contractor, 901st Contingency Contracting Battalion, shared Herman’s enthusiasm, “It’s been a long 15 months, and it can be especially difficult with two children at home.”

Johnson-Harper’s husband, Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Harper, automated logistics noncommissioned officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Brigade Troops Battalion, 4th SB, returned to Fort Hood a day before the couple’s children expected him.

“They think he’s coming home tomorrow,” said Johnson-Harper, “It’s a surprise.”

While the Soldiers of 1st Med Bde will have a much different mission than the Wrangler Brigade Soldiers, it will encompass roughly the same geographical area.

“Our mission is to provide world class care, anytime, anywhere, and right now that mission is for our comrades in arms throughout the entire Iraq theater,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin B. Stuart, senior noncommissioned officer, 1st Med Bde, 13th SC(E).

Their casing ceremony marked a symbolic end of the headquarters’ responsibilities at Fort Hood in preparation for their upcoming deployment in support of OIF.

“Your mission in Iraq will be one of the most critical in the Army today,” said Wentz, speaking at the casing ceremony.

Stuart said the Soldiers of 1st Med Bde, have been preparing for the upcoming deployment for the better part of a year.

“This is one of the best bunch of Soldiers I’ve ever been associated with,” said Stuart, “Without a doubt, they are technically proficient, tactically sound and mentally ready.”

With the ongoing conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, the medical field is as critical as ever, said Tenhet. “As Medics, you’re a symbol of hope to other Soldiers on the battlefield.”

With one brigade leaving Fort Hood about the same time one is returning, all shortly before the 13th SC(E) HQ is scheduled to deploy in support of OIF, it seems to highlight a big difference between the 13th and other units here.

“We’re unique as a sustainment command, because we always have units deployed,” said Master Sgt. Charolette Harvey, career counselor, HHC, 13th SC(E), “4th Infantry Division and 1st Cav deploy as divisions and come back as divisions, but all our units come and go separately.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Capt. Faith Lee, commander, A Co., STB, 4th SB, 13th SC(E), holds her 16 month old daughter, Samantha, following the redeployment ceremony for the 4th SB at the 13th SC(E) Gym here at Fort Hood May 26. More than 120 Soldiers from the 4th SB returned to Fort Hood after a 15-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. (US Army photo by Spc. Naveed Ali Shah, 13th SC(E) PAO)

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Sgt. 1st Class Erick Ritterby, public affairs NCOIC, 4th SB, holds his seven year-old daughter, Miaya, following the redeployment ceremony for the 4th SB at the 13th SC(E) Gym here at Fort Hood May 26. More than 120 Soldiers from the 4th SB returned to Fort Hood after a 15-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. (US Army photo by Spc. Naveed Ali Shah, 13th SC(E) PAO)

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Col. Robert Tenhet, commander, 1st Medical Brigade, 13th SC(E), and Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Stuart, senior noncommissioned officer, 1st Med. Bde., case the unit's colors during a ceremony at the 13th SC(E) Gym May 27 here at Fort Hood. The brigade headquarters is slated to deploy next month in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. (US Army photo by Maj. Raul Marquez, 13th SC(E) PAO)

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Col. Robert Tenhet, commander, 1st Medical Brigade, 13th SC(E), and Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Stuart, senior noncommissioned officer, 1st Med. Bde., case the unit's colors as Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander, III Corps and Fort Hood, and Command Sgt. Maj. Neil Ciatolla, senior NCO, III Corps and Fort Hood, look on, during a ceremony at the 13th SC(E) Gym May 27 here at Fort Hood. The brigade headquarters is slated to deploy next month in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. (US Army photo by Spc. Naveed Ali Shah, 13th SC(E) PAO)