By Amabilia PayenApril 3, 2015
FORT BLISS, Texas - The 244th Engineer Battalion along with the 338th Engineer Company deployed Mar. 24 from the Silas L. Copeland Arrival/Departure Air Control Group airfield to conduct missions in the Middle East.
Both U.S. Army Reserve units will work together to assist in any and all missions in the U.S. Army Central Command's area of operations.
"I'm hoping that there will be a lot of work set out for us," said 1st Lt. Justin Nowicki, 2nd platoon leader, 338 Eng. Company. "There's a lot of troops moving around the area, so I hope there's lots of work for us there. I know once my guys get to work, they love doing it, they love doing construction stuff. That is most satisfying thing as a lieutenant is seeing your plan put into action and your Soldiers doing their job."
The 338th Eng. Co. is from Attleboro, Massachusetts and the 244th Eng. Bn. is from Denver, Colorado. Both units found the desert conditions at McGregror Range Base Camp, New Mexico ideal for training and preparing for the climate conditions in the Middle East.
"I think for the mission that we are going to, I think (Fort Bliss) is great," said Nowicki. "I'm happy that we actually got the same environment that we are training in."
"The training was really good here," said Command Sgt. Maj. Esley Gustafson, senior noncommissioned officer of the 244th Eng. Bn. "A lot of us were coming from northern Colorado, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, which are a lot of colder states, so it was nice to come some place warm to train before we left. It was good to kind of acclimate to a warmer temperature before we left. The facilities were great, the folks here are great, and training was really good. We've enjoyed our time here."
Sgt. Jami LeBlanc, assistant squad leader, 2nd Platoon, 338th Eng. Co., believes that her company has "jelled really well together." With one deployment under her belt, she believes her unit can adapt and overcome whatever is put on their plate.
"The training that we have been through since we have been here in Texas and the training that we do back home, just to put it all into play and just know that we can do whatever and overcome anything," said LeBlanc. "The process here has been very smooth since we arrived. Everything is organized and it really makes the transitioning a lot smoother and easier. Less stress."
Gustafson hopes this deployment will be complete in time to come home for Christmas. Both units trained together, deployed together, and look forward to coming home together.