Ninety Georgia Army National Guard Soldiers from the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 110th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, were honored with a sendoff ceremony at the Neal Fitness Center on Fort Gillem Feb. 15 in recognition of their scheduled deployment to Iraq in March.

Friends, Family members and fellow troops were all on hand to give their regards to the departing Soldiers.

Brig. Gen. Maria Britt, commander, Georgia ANG, told the deploying Soldiers she was proud of them for standing up for their country and encouraged them to protect America's values and live their own, even if it means taking the harder right over the easier wrong.

She also told them to be proud in the knowledge that they are not only living history, but shaping it as well.

History is being made by being part of retrograde actions in Iraq, said Command Sgt. Maj. James Nelson, Georgia ANG command sergeant major and senior enlisted leader for the Georgia ANG.

Retrograde actions, which include the redeployment of Soldiers and equipment back to America, are vital to the national security of the country, he added.

"There's a lot of logistics that are required," Nelson said of the retrograde mission of the 110 CSSB, pointing out missions such as accounting for equipment, repairing equipment and sending it back was "not an easy task."

Although difficult, these are necessary tasks, as they allows units to go back to America knowing what needs to be done to restore their capabilities and to allow them to properly prepare for future deployments, Nelson said.

The 110 CSSB's deployment is also historic, as it will most likely be the last deployment of a Georgia ANG unit to Iraq, Nelson said. He said most units on tap for future deployments will be sent to Afghanistan, where they will continue to support overseas contingency operations.

As for the 110th's roles in the retrograde action, Maj. Roger Dilliard, 110 CSSB support operations officer, said the group will be working under the 36th Sustainment Brigade and the mission will begin sometime in the spring, following the unit's monthlong tenure at Fort Bliss, Texas.

The unit transferred to Fort Bliss for final preparations immediately after the ceremony.

Although Soldiers and Family members were saddened by the separation, both were left with comfort by Britt, who assured Soldiers their Families would be taken care of in their absence and told Families that if they need anything, the Georgia ANG is willing to help.

"Families need not suffer in silence or alone," Britt said. "This, too, shall pass."

The end should come sometime in early 2011, said Col. Thomas Blackstock Jr., commander, 78th Troop Command, Georgia ANG. "We look forward to the day when we welcome you home," Blackstock said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16