FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Willie Mays held his 10-month-old daughter Jessica, as he watched his young wife, Sgt. Lexis Penny-Mays, stand in formation for a going away ceremony Saturday at the Solomon Center.

"This is my first deployment, so I'm a little nervous and will definitely miss my family," said Penny-Mays, a personnel specialist. "It'll especially be hard not be here for Jessica's first birthday."

Her Army Reserve unit, the 310th Human Resources Sustainment Center based here, will deploy to Kuwait for a one-year tour this summer.

"We are very proud of the transformation of the 310th HRSC from a personnel command, especially considering they will be the first Army Reserve HRSC to deploy to a combat zone," said Sgt. Major Jose Licea, the 143rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Operations Sgt. Major visiting from Orlando, Fla.

"I'm very honored to help lead our Soldiers on this mission," said 310th HRSC Sgt. Maj. Catherine Berner. "We'll report to the 1st Theater Sustainment Command in Kuwait and begin tracking personnel actions of troops throughout the theater of operations to include Iraq and Afghanistan.

"As for leaving home, I'm definitely going to miss my husband Ray and my students at William Hubbard Middle School in Forsyth, Ga.," Berner said.

Her son, Davilan Berner, attended the ceremony with his 5- and 6-year-old nieces, Kayleigh and Kyla Berner.

"This is my mom's fourth deployment," he said. "I think it's important for the girls to see their grandmother at this ceremony. When I was five, I remember going to one of these before she headed off for Desert Storm, and it helped me make better sense of her going away."

The ceremony also allowed the leadership to reassure the families and praise the troops' professionalism.

"Together, I assure you, we will get the mission done, we'll do it safely, and we'll come home," said Col. Richard L. Scheider Sr., the director of the 310th HRSC.
After the ceremony, Scheider clarified that mission.

"Our mission is to plan, coordinate and synchronize theater level human resources operations including postal operations, casualty reporting and personnel accountability," he said.

The 310th Human Resources Sustainment Center has more than 80 Soldiers and will be stationed at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait alongside the 1st Sustainment Command (Theater) based out of Fort Bragg, N.C. and Army Forces Central Command -- Kuwait.

The unit will arrive in theater after completing four to six weeks of mobilization training at a military training facility in Wisconsin.

The 310th HRSC and 143rd ESC are subordinate to the 81st Regional Readiness Sustainment Command "Wildcats."

Page last updated Thu June 25th, 2009 at 08:20