Petroleum company heads for Afghanistan
June 3, 2010
FORT LEE, Va. (June 3, 2010) -- One hundred, fifty-seven members of the 109th Quartermaster Company said goodbye to crowds of Family, friends and fellow Soldiers during a deployment ceremony Tuesday at the Post Field House.
The unit, an element of the 530th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 49th QM Group, was on its way to Afghanistan where it will spend a year in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Capt. William Bauserman, the company's commander, said the unit has endured a long journey of training since it was first notified of the deployment.
"I couldn't be happier with the Soldiers I'm taking downrange; I'm proud of all the work they did to get to this point," Bauserman said. "They're an outstanding bunch, and I'd go to war with these guys any day of the week."
When the 109th arrives in the theater of operations, it will perform convoy security missions and not the petroleum supply and distribution mission for which the unit was organized. It was required to undergo various training and certifications prior to deployment.
"A year ago, they knew nothing of convoy security," said unit 1st Sgt. Eulanda Whiteside. "We've embedded tactics and procedures in their heads. I'm truly comfortable, and I know it in my heart that we're all going to make it back."
At the cavernous field house, about 300 people were on hand for the send off. They packed the bleachers on one side of the facility, and after a few formalities, spent another half hour with their Soldiers before they boarded buses. Ron Wallace was among those present, supporting the departure of his grandson, Pfc. Cedric Green.
"We know that these Soldiers have a mission, and we know what their job is, and we know that they've been trained well to do it," said Wallace, who traveled here from Savannah, Ga., with other Family members. "On the Family side of things, it's always difficult to say goodbye to a loved one who you know is going into harm's way."
Green, showing the bravado of a young man, said he's going to "handle his business and come back" to his loved ones. "I miss them already, and I haven't even left," he said.
The 109th will replace the 267th QM Co. in Afghanistan. The units are two of several other companies comprising of several hundred 49th QM Group Soldiers who are deployed in the southwest Asia theater of operations.