More Army Reserve-PR troops to Afghanistan
July 23, 2013
Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico- Approximately 80 Soldiers assigned to the 77th Combat Sustaintment Support Battalion (CSSB), US Army Reserve-Puerto Rico, left the island June 16, from the Luis Muñoz Marin airport, en route to a mobilization station in the Continental States, before departing to Afghanistan.
"Our pre-mobilization training was intensive, hard and directly related to our mission in Afghanistan. I am very happy with our troop's performance. I feel that my Soldiers are very well trained. We will be ok," said Lt. Col. Hector Agosto, 77th CSSB commander.
The 77th CSSB mission is to provide logistical support to combat operations in Afghanistan, a critical element for the military success in the region.
"We do not select the dates of deployment. The day is selected in accordance with the mission needs in the theater of war," added Agosto while referring to the fact of being mobilized on Fathers Day.
"I am very enthusiastic. Finally I will have the opportunity to go to Afghanistan. I see this mobilization as an important step in my career progression. I am very well prepared, mentally and emotionally," said Spec. Alexis Rivera, who is mobilized for the first time in his 5 years of service in the Army Reserve-Puerto Rico, and who is the father of a 3 years old girl and a six months old baby.
"I feel somehow sad because he is leaving, but at the same time I know he will return safely," said Francis Andino, Rivera's wife.
Maj. Gen. Glenn J. Lesniak, United States Army Reserve Deputy Commander for Support, who traveled to the island to get a first hand assessment of the readiness level of the troops assigned to the largest US Army Reserve command in the Caribbean, accompanied the troops to the airport.
"It is an honor to be here. The performance of the US Soldiers from Puerto Rico has always been exemplary. You are very professional and very proficient. You all make the difference on how we conduct our business every day in our units" said Lesniak, while addressing the troops minutes before boarding the plane.
The 77th CSSB is the third Army Reserve-Puerto Rico unit mobilized in 2013. Currently, the Army Reserve-Puerto Rico has approximately 500 troops deployed to Afghanistan and other countries. Since 2001, the command has mobilized over 5,000 Soldiers in support to overseas contingency operations.