<b> FORT STEWART, Ga. </b> - "We all live for the good of the ship, and this sustainment brigade is the ship and we all row," said Col. Shawn Morrissey, commander of the 3rd Sustainment Brigade. "Welcome aboard."

This analogy was presented to the Soldiers and leaders of the 3rd Sustainment Bde. before the Rehearsal of Concept Drill at Woodruff Theater, March 5.

The purpose of this drill is to "make sure everyone is on the same sheet of music," said 1st Sgt. Paul Robinson, first sergeant for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Bde.

"It's used just to make sure that everyone has an overview of what's going on, what we'll be doing, and our mission," he said. "If there are any hiccups or problems, then we can address them here."

The ROC Drill allowed each staff section to present an overview of what their plan is for their mission in Iraq. It showed everyone in attendance the complexity of the brigade's upcoming mission.

"It's terribly important to let every Soldier understand the larger picture," said Col. Morrissey. "We hope that everyone gets a common operating picture, from the youngest private to the most senior colonel. We also want everyone to know what our mind set is now. We are prepared to go to war; we care about our Soldiers and its time."

And to war the brigade will go. In less than 45 days, the 3rd Sustainment Brigade will deploy to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and, starting Sept. 1, Operation New Dawn. The brigade will be in charge of reducing the troop level as well as removing all the excess equipment from Iraq and shipping it out of country.

"With the reduction of forces from 130,000 to 50,000, and us having to, what I have titled 'move the mountain,' I think it is historic because of the eight years of military build up," said Col. Morrissey. "We have a short time with limited resources to move all of that out of Iraq, so it is quite significant."

The amount of travel and movement in Iraq, as well as the total amount of equipment there will be of epic proportions, said Maj. Brian Formy-Duval, the officer in charge of the 3rd Sustainment Bde.'s Support Operations.

"This is now our war," he continued. "In the history of our nation, we have never taken on such a task. If you look at previous wars, the stuff has been blown up, damaged or left behind. To get all these supplies and bring it back home, we've never done anything like it. I think for years to come, logistically they will be looking at what we're doing and how we're doing it. We are falling in on three sustainment brigade missions and will accomplish that by ourselves."

There will be about 400 trucks on the road a night, moving equipment from one place to another, he added.

"You're the engine. You're the machine. You're the guys rowing everyday to make this brigade succeed," said Col. Morrissey. "Through your analysis, your hard work, this brigade and this Army will succeed. I am proud to be your brigade commander."

Page last updated Thu March 11th, 2010 at 15:51