***image1***Soldiers from the 21st Theater Support Command’s 39th Transportation Battalion deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom April 12.
21st Theater Support Command’s Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Bennie Williams, and Soldiers and officers of the 21st TSC bid farewell to Soldiers from the 39th Transportation Bn.
“We’re deploying to Afghanistan to create an Air Terminal Movement Control team, to deploy and redeploy personnel from Afghanistan, as well as move cargo, and ensure that all the cargo that arrives gets to its destination,” said Spc. Hector Flores, transportation specialist for the 618th Movement Control Team, 39th Transportation Battalion.
“We transport everything from people to equipment. We send out Military Police, dog handlers, different medicines, anything that moves, we help move it,” said Staff Sgt. Lorna Longest, transportation management coordinator and NCO in charge, Task Force 39th.
In light of recent news, the Soldiers are slightly anxious about the upcoming mission.
“I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t nervous. Of course, I’m nervous. I’m more nervous though for the well being of my Soldiers. I know they’ll accomplish the mission, but there are so many unknowns that anything could happen,” said Capt. Oswaldo Rivera, MCT detachment commander for Task Force 39th.
The Soldiers of the unit trained for many of the unknowns in live fire training in Grafenwoehr in early February.
“We’ve trained to react to improvised explosive devices and react to ambushes and basically to any kind of fire that we get,” said Specialist Flores.
“That’s what we train for every day, so it’s time to go put it to use. Put it to the real world,” said Sergeant Longest.
Though the training has made the Soldiers feel more confident about going, it does not make leaving their families behind easy.
“I think what’s affecting us the most is the time. Plus leaving our people behind, you know like our loved ones,” said Pfc. Eduardo Salas, Transportation Management Coordinator.
But the Soldiers were prepared for that as well.
“It’s hard. I mean I’m not going to deny it’s hard. But you do, what you have to do,” Specialist Flores said. “The good thing was our unit was able to brief us on what to expect, what not to expect. That made us able to be more prepared and leave our families well taken care of.”
Cpl. Lisa Sagram, Movement Control Specialist said, “The people [left] behind will be there for our families, they’re supporting us, so I don’t have any worries about that, I know everybody’s going to be taken care of.”