FORT IRWIN, Calif.- Although the Soldiers from the 2nd Transportation Company returned from their yearlong deployment to Iraq on Sept. 20, the company was missing a key piece of its identity until Tuesday morning.

The missing piece, its company guidon, was cased prior to the unit's return to Fort Irwin on Sept. 20, and the National Training Center and wasn't uncased until Nov. 9 when Capt. Jason Johnson and 1st Sgt. Bradley Schemmel pulled the cover off the colors as guidon bearer Spc. Huan Tran stoically watched in front of family and friends gathered for the ceremony.

"It's a great feeling," 1st Sgt. Schemmel said. "It means it's time to get back to business as usual."

1916th Support Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Peter Kalamaras said the uncasing ceremony marks an important milestone in the unit's ARFORGEN cycle, which will continue through 2011. The company was supplemented by a platoon from Fort Riley, Kan. and one from Fort Carson, Colo. during its deployment.

"It's only fitting that this ceremony take place during the week of Veterans Day, because each of you in 2nd HET represent what the day is all about," Lt. Col. Kalamaras said.

The most recent deployment was the the unit's fourth in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, he noted. Lt. Col. Kalamaras praised the unit's work as its last 90 days in theater were spent aiding in Operation Responsible Drawdown.

"The 2nd HET conducted 256 convoy operations that covered more than 3 million miles," he said, adding the Soldiers exceeded the Army standard in all of its operations during the deployment.

The unit transported more than 120,000 tons of equipment and supplies and its maintenance section replaced a total of 47 engines and 31 transmissions while in theater, he said.

Lt. Col. Kalamaras thanked the unit's Family Readiness Group and rear detachment for their support of the Soldiers' families, which included 98 spouses and 138 children, during the deployment.

In his closing remarks to the unit, Lt. Col. Kalamaras exclaimed, "Desert Warriors, sustain the Force; train the Force!"

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