FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Soldiers and family members gathered at Dahl Physical Fitness Center to bid farewell to the 18th Financial Management Support Center, 1st Sustainment Command (Theater) during a deployment ceremony Jan. 19.
The team will be deployed for nine months and provide support to Operation Freedom's Sentinel in Afghanistan and Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq.
"We have spent the last six months preparing for this deployment and ensuring we have the right group of people for the job," said Col. Andrew Hyatt, director, 18th FMSC. "I'm excited about the mission and being able to serve, but it's never easy to leave the family."
Most of the finance Soldiers will be based in Qatar, but Hyatt expects them to travel in and around the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility which includes to Iraq and Afghanistan.
During his remarks, Col. Johnney Matthews, deputy commanding officer, 1st TSC, praised the team for their hard work and dedication to the mission. He also noted the importance of the assignment.
"You will be taking over an extremely crucial mission," said Matthews. "But I know you are the right team for this job."
The 18th FMSC will provide oversight of pay entitlements for Soldiers, contracting payments and audits of all government spending occurring in theater.
"I feel really good about this deployment," said Capt. Phillip Purcell, accounting branch chief, 18th FMSC. "We have a really good team and great leadership who is very experienced."
Purcell, a native of St. Clair Shores Michigan, will leave his girlfriend of three years behind.
"This is our first experience with deploying," said Leah Steilberg. "I'm sad to see him go, but I understand it comes with the job."
Like most military spouses, Steilberg has a plan to keep herself busy while her boyfriend is away.
"We just bought a house together," said the Louisville, Kentucky native. "So, I will keep myself occupied getting everything set up."
The 18th FMSC is replacing 175th Financial Management Support Center, based out of Hawaii, who are completing a nine-month deployment.