• Capt. William Woods, 533rd FEST-M, greets his family at the Louisville International Airport upon returning from a yearlong deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    Warm embrace

    Capt. William Woods, 533rd FEST-M, greets his family at the Louisville International Airport upon returning from a yearlong deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

  • Capt. Kari Haravitch and her husband Capt. Lucas Haravitch arrive at the Louisville International Airport. The Haravitchs were both deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from June 09 to June 10.

    Deployed couple returns home

    Capt. Kari Haravitch and her husband Capt. Lucas Haravitch arrive at the Louisville International Airport. The Haravitchs were both deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from June 09 to June 10.

  • Lt. Col. Arpad Kisch, 533rd FEST-M, Fort Knox, Ky. and his family at the Louisville International Airport. Kisch was part of a team that deployed to conduct engineering operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    Surrounded by family

    Lt. Col. Arpad Kisch, 533rd FEST-M, Fort Knox, Ky. and his family at the Louisville International Airport. Kisch was part of a team that deployed to conduct engineering operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

  • Sgt. 1st Class Glen Batzinger and his wife are all smiles as he returns home from Iraq. Batzinger deployed June 09 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    The Batzinger family together again

    Sgt. 1st Class Glen Batzinger and his wife are all smiles as he returns home from Iraq. Batzinger deployed June 09 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

  • Maj. Michael Govignon, 533rd FEST-M, Fort Knox, Ky. and his family at the Louisville International Airport. Govignon was part of a team that deployed to conduct engineering operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    Home at last

    Maj. Michael Govignon, 533rd FEST-M, Fort Knox, Ky. and his family at the Louisville International Airport. Govignon was part of a team that deployed to conduct engineering operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

  • Capt. Eric Wright's daughter can't hold back her joy as she sees her dad walk off the plane at the Louisville International Airport. Wright is part of the small team from the 533rd FEST-M that deployed in June 09 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    The smile says it all

    Capt. Eric Wright's daughter can't hold back her joy as she sees her dad walk off the plane at the Louisville International Airport. Wright is part of the small team from the 533rd FEST-M that deployed in June 09 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

<b>FORT KNOX, Ky.</b> - More than a dozen members of the 533rd Engineer Detachment Forward Engineer Support Team Aca,!" Main returned in stages from June 6 to 28 after a yearlong deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The 533rd FEST-M deployed in June 2009 to support civil engineering operations for the primary directorate for planning, executing and transferring facilities missions in support of the Iraqi Security Forces.

"As the United States moves from a primarily military mission to a civilian, diplomatic and economic mission in Iraq, the demand for specialized capabilities such as the ones found in the 533rd increases," said Col. Jerome Stolinski, FEST-M commander. "They filled critical engineering capability gaps and assisted in keeping the overall mission in Iraq on target. We are proud of their service and are happy to have them home safe and sound."

Shaking off the desert dust, team members turned their thoughts toward family, friends and enjoying time at home.

"I know it sounds funny but I just can't wait to do normal things like cook, clean and do my own laundry," said Capt. Kari R. Haravitch, assistant plans and operations officer.

With the return of the deployed members, the unit can now focus on preparing for future missions.

"While the team was deployed, we focused on recruiting and training the civilian staff in the unit," said Lt. Col. Douglas Hoenig, executive officer, 533rd FEST-M. "We've trained on Army tactics, standards and procedures and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reachback operations and equipment. Their individual training is on track and now we can enter the next phase of training as a complete unit."

In August, the unit begins collective training with the Soldiers in the lead. Hoenig says the goal is simple - to become a cohesive team ready and able to deploy on short notice to support operations across the globe.

"That's why this unit exists," said Hoenig. "To bring advanced engineering capabilities in support of military and disaster relief operations wherever and whenever we are needed."

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