MANNHEIM, Germany -- For a unit getting ready for a deployment, the road to preparing for Overseas Contingency Operations can be long and stressful with numerous training events and ceremonies. However, once a unit finally cases its colors, the Soldiers know they are reaching the end of the road and it is time put on their game faces.

For Soldiers of the 515th Transportation Company, 391st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 16th Sust. Brigade, the Nov. 4 color casing ceremony here, triggered conflicting feelings of nervousness and excitement as the guidon disappeared underneath a green protective sleeve. Soldiers began to see a new path leading to their deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

"I am excited, but I'm also nervous and anxious to do well," said Sgt. Matthew Hendriks, a food services sergeant preparing for his first deployment. "I'm actually training with the line platoons, so my job is kind of back and forth because food service is not an exercise mission (for where we are going). There are civilians there that do that job. But all in all, I'm excited."

Like Hendriks, Sgt. Christopher Sloan, a truck driver from Dayton, Ohio, who is preparing for his second deployment and first to OEF, also feels a restless anticipation.

"I'm a little nervous and a little excited just because we've known about the deployment for so long, but we've done a lot of training so I believe we're ready for it and well prepared," said Sloan.

For the 515th Trans. Co., the road to supporting contingency operations has been long and tiring, but also rewarding, as the various training events the unit has executed have made them confident and capable to execute their mission downrange.

"The training went extremely well. We came together as a team and everyone's ready and motivated to go and do our mission downrange," said 1st. Sgt. Christopher Gilbreath, the first sergeant for the 515th Trans. Co. and a mechanical maintenance supervisor.

Although the unit's deployment to OEF will be the first deployment for Hendriks, he knows he has the support and confidence of his fellow Soldiers and is prepared to meet the challenges that lay ahead.

"I feel quite confident and ready to go. The 515th Trans. Co. is awesome," concluded Hendriks.

Page last updated Mon November 21st, 2011 at 00:00