Speed and Soldiers packing to return home
First Lieutenant James Sullivan, an engineer platoon leader assigned to E Co., TF 3/69 Armor, 1st AAB, 3rd ID, directs the emplacement of a connex in the Power Staging Yard on Camp Taji in the course of his duties as the unit movement officer for his company.

<b>BAGHDAD</b> - After redeploying this winter, Pfc. Brian Hamrick plans on spending the holiday season on leave with his wife and two children.

The motor transport operator, assigned to Company F, Task Force 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Advise and Assist Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, United States Division - Center, said that once home he and his Family will take holiday photos and shop for gifts, and they will continue a Family tradition they had to put off last year.

"We go around and look at Christmas lights-we do that every year," Pfc. Hamrick said. "My parents started that and I just carried it on with my family."

Private First Class Hamrick is one of hundreds of Speed and Power Soldiers who are currently packing their personal belongings and military equipment and supplies into connexes on Camp Taji in preparation for redeployment to Fort Stewart. Each day, newly-filled and inspected shipping containers are delivered to the battalion's staging yard to await transportation out of Iraq.
According to Sgt. 1st Class Emmett Shannon, noncommissioned officer-in-charge of TF 3/69 Armor logistics, logistical redeployment operations have progressed smoothly from the get-go.

"We started preparing in the September time frame with account closures, document number closures and the basic dwindling down of equipment," Sgt. 1st Class Shannon said. "We turned in almost two battalions' worth of equipment."

Sergeant First Class Shannon is serving in his fourth deployment to Iraq and said this rotation has been the most logistically demanding deployment he has been a part of because TF 3/69 Armor signed more than three joint security stations to the Iraqi Security Forces. He has managed a large influx of equipment and transitioned it back into the Army's supply system because all of the battalion's vehicles, whether wheeled or tracked, are remaining in country for dispersal to United States Forces around Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as to the ISF.

In addition, Sgt. 1st Class Shannon has signed over 46 used and refurbished connexes to the Mobile Redistribution Team, the unit in Iraq responsible for cleaning up excess military equipment in Iraq.

While Sgt. 1st Class Shannon said the battalion has had a successful deployment, he is ready to redeploy and take his wife and children out to eat and learn about his Family's year at home.

"My daughter will be 17 (and) my son will be 13 when I get back, so (having missed) four years of their lives it's something special ... to get back and retire and hang out and watch them grow up," Sgt. 1st Class Shannon said.

Married and single Soldiers alike are anticipating the upcoming transition into garrison life.

Specialist Phillip Yniguez, a combat engineer assigned to Company E, TF 3/69 Armor, said stowing his belongings in his company's connex made redeployment more tangible for him.

"It feels pretty good," Spc. Yniguez said. "I can't wait to have some of my freedoms back after these long days."

Page last updated Fri November 26th, 2010 at 13:02