Max visits Taji's Tenn. Guardsmen
June 30, 2009
CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Brig. Gen. Terry "Max" Haston, the Tennessee Army National Guard assistant to the adjutant general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Breece, the Tenn. ARNG senior enlisted leader, visited Soldiers from the 776th Maintenance Company here May 27.
After traveling thousands of miles, Haston and Breece were greeted by the 776th's higher headquarters command team consisting of Col. Mark Drake and Command Sgt. Maj. Allen Fritzsching, both of Fort Drum's 10th Sust. Bde. Also attending the visit were the 419th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion command team of Lt. Col. Kristan Hericks and Command Sgt. Maj. Paul Swanson.
During the visit, Haston and Breece were briefed by Drake and the brigade headquarters staff which described the support provided by the 10th Sust. Bde., and 419th CSSB to thousands of troops within Iraq. The briefing provided Haston and Breece overview of current support operations within the Iraqi theater.
While the primary purpose of the visit was to meet directly with Tennessee Guardsmen, it also provided Haston current information useful to Tennessee Soldiers slated to return to Iraq in the future.
Additionally, Haston and Breece received information about the maintenance support record achieved by the 776th Maint. Co., thus far. The 776th Maint. Co., command team of Capt. Stacy Kunz, a native of Smyrna, Tenn., and 1st Sgt. Gary Peters, a native of Tellford, Tenn., were very proud to hear Col. Drake relate the achievements of the 776th as the "best maintenance company within the brigade."
Upon completion of the brief, Haston and Breece were escorted to the 776th Maint. Co., area where nearly 200 troops awaited them, addressing and complimenting them on the exceptional and outstanding service provided by the 776th Maint. Co., Soldiers - supporting the safety and readiness of thousands of troops operating within Iraq.
Breece, the senior enlisted leader in the Tennessee Guard, fielded questions and provided useful information to his fellow Soldiers and NCOs pertaining to policy updates, advancement, pay, benefits and career issues, as well as updating the troops on changes that had occurred since leaving home.
After addressing those on-hand, Haston and Breece toured the 776th Maint. Co.'s, eight-acre maintenance support area. There, they saw maintenance bays improved by members of the 776th Maint. Co. The achievements and operational details of the unit were further explained and illustrated during the tour.
Haston and Breece's visit ended with a dinner with Soldiers, where they about their individual perspectives on the 776th Maint. Co., mission.