18th Military Police Brigade Soldiers Move into Iraq to Assume 15-Month Mission
October 26, 2007
CAMP VICTORY, Baghdad Iraq (Oct. 26, 2007) -- Soldiers of U.S. Army Europe's Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 18th Military Police Brigade, made their way here from Baghdad International Airport with quiet anticipation.
"I was a little hesitant, anxious and relieved to get here and get to work," said Spc. Anthony Henderson, a human resources specialist with the unit. "I was hesitant because I wasn't positive on what to expect, but I was relieved knowing that the time on our deployment is now starting to tick away."
The brigade, deployed from Mannheim, Germany, recently completed its final stage of preparation in Kuwait and arrived in Iraq for a 15-month mission in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The training and processing in Kuwait focused on tasks specific to the OIF area of operation.
"From the stories I've heard, I expected the area to be in chaos, with bombs going off everywhere, but once I got here I found that doing my job as a personnel clerk was not much different from what I am used to doing elsewhere," said Henderson, who is deployed for the first time. "It's just another job here in support of troops on the front lines."
The time in Kuwait afforded the unit an opportunity to get acclimated to the region.
"The training was very vital. I believe I can handle myself in a combat situation now. We have been constantly preparing for months, and now we are ready to handle the stresses of this environment," said Henderson.
In the upcoming days, the 18th will complete a transfer of authority with the unit they are replacing, the 89th MP Brigade from Fort Hood, Texas.
"Things are going smooth. The unit is more than prepared," said 1st Sgt. Myron Lewis of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 18th MP Brigade. "I am real confident that the transition will go smoothly. I don't see too many improvements that we need to make. The outgoing 89th Military Police Brigade did a great job here."
With the transfer, the 18th will complete its "relief in place" process with the 89th, as the two units spend time sharing lessons learned and working and training together as they transition duties and responsibilities from the outgoing unit to the incoming.