FORT KNOX, Ky. - More than 200 members of the 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) returned to Fort Knox Monday, after spending the past 15 months in Iraq.

In doing so, the community welcomed the command who made history for being the first general officer headquarters to deploy from Fort Knox.

Family, friends, and members of the Fort Knox community filled the Sadowski Field House to capacity to greet the Soldiers as they arrived after several days of travel.

The deployment marked the 3rd ESC's third tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where they served as the senior logistics headquarters under Multinational Corps-Iraq and were responsible for all logistics operations within the Iraqi theater. The 3rd ESC provided command and control to more than 19,000 Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen.

Speaking at the Soldiers' arrival was Col. David Teeples, the Armor Center commander.
"On behalf of Gen. (Don) Campbell and the entire Fort Knox community, welcome home," Teeples said over the roar and whistles of the excited crowd. "I want to thank you for your service and commitment to our Army and nation. ...It is a fact that your dedication and professionalism contributed directly to the success of the warfighter units and our mission in Iraq as you conducted sustainment missions throughout the entire Iraq theater... Be safe as you enjoy reuniting with your families and friends."

Brig. Gen. Michael Lally, the 3rd ESC commander, thanked his Soldiers, families, and the Knox communities.

"The command performed at optimal levels under combat conditions for more than 434 days," said Lally. "When ESC moved to Fort Knox, the Soldiers and families made an emotional investment in this community. During this deployment, the community paid us back in full. Thanks to the next-door neighbors who helped our families through hurricanes, ice storms, floods, and power outages; their help put Soldiers' minds at ease," he said.

Lally noted how significant families were to the Soldiers.

"We could not have done our mission in Iraq without the support of our families back home," Lally added. "They made sacrifices as great as their Soldiers."

After the brief ceremony, the command's Soldiers excitedly reunited with family members and friends while film crews and reporters from area newspapers, television, and radio stations looked on.

To welcome and reunite with their Soldiers, loved ones began gathering around 2 p.m. at Sadowski Field House, although a few began their vigil at 2 a.m.

The command provided logistical support and base life support to more than 300,000 Soldiers and civilians and created, initiated, and developed and instituted the Convoy Academy Training
Program in order to standardize the training of forces that support convoy operations in Iraq.

While deployed, the 3rd ESC accounted for and issued more than $600 million worth of ammunition; facilitated, tracked, and issued over $1.5 billion worth of fuel; and transitioned the Iraqi Transportation Network from a conceptual idea to a viable industry in more than 75 percent of the country.

Photos and story by Spc. Michael Behlin, 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) public affairs.
For queries, contact 3d Sustainment Command Public Affairs at: (502) 624-8601.
For high-resolution photos and stories by the 3d Sustainment Command, please contact the Digital Video and Imagery Distribution System by calling (678) 421-6612 or access them online at http://www.dvidshub.net/units/3sce.

Page last updated Thu October 15th, 2009 at 14:44