Soldiers and family members of the 635th Movement Control Team of the 39th Transportation Battalion, 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s 16th Sustainment Brigade, gathered to witness the unit’s casing ceremony Jan. 28 at Rhine Ordnance Barracks.
“Upon the eve of this deployment, I see in the eyes of our Soldiers the whole spectrum of emotions from excitement, to resignation to uncertainty,” said Lt. Col. Michael S. Knapp, commander of the 39th Trans. Bn. “These emotions are constant and cyclical during a deployment; however, I also see determination, spirit and the warrior ethos in these Soldiers.”
A casing ceremony takes place before a unit deploys in support of war or contingency operations. The commander and senior NCO roll the flag and place it in a case, symbolizing the colors and the Soldiers it represents are being moved from home station to a deployed location. The colors will be removed from their case and unfurled, once the unit is in place and has assumed its designated mission.
The 635th MCT deployed several days later to three locations in Afghanistan, including Bagram Airfield, Camp Phoenix and Kabul International Airfield. The 19 Soldiers provide movement control for rotary aircraft and vehicle and equipment in-transit tracking.
They conduct most missions in coordination with the Air Force to ensure all proper regulations are followed, said 2nd Lt. Christopher Deines, 635th MCT executive
“The Soldiers are settled in, accomplishing the mission, and spirits are high,” Deines said. “They are sustaining the force here in Afghanistan and making sure that Soldiers and other service members have what they need when they need it.”
The Soldiers from the “Keep it Moving” team will remain in Afghanistan for a nine-month tour. They will see the most air movement coming in and out of Afghanistan to include passengers deploying and redeploying, equipment coming in for support or moving out for retrograde operations.
The 635th MCT is no stranger to the war effort. Since 2001, the 635th MCT has deployed five times in support of both operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. Their most recent deployment from 2010 to 2011 was in support of Operation New Dawn.
“The ‘Keep it Moving’ team will be here, and we will accomplish our mission,” said Capt. Raymond Beard, 635th MCT commander. “Our Soldiers are trained and prepared to perform the vital sustainment mission which they have been tasked with.”