By Mr. Stephen Standifird (Leonard Wood)May 12, 2016
The 509th Clearance Company cased its colors at a ceremony Monday in preparation for a nine-month deployment with the 8th Army to the Republic of Korea.
The company received their deployment orders in November, and has been preparing since then, said Capt. Curtis Million, 509th Clearance Co. commander.
"Since that time, we have had to adapt and overcome and accomplish more than what seems possible," he said. "However, the dedication, work ethic, compassion and professionalism of the men and women in the company allowed us to overcome the overwhelming odds."
With the help of LRC (Logistics Readiness Center), 509th Clearance Co. had to execute one of the largest movements of personnel and equipment in the installation's history, Million said.
"In under two weeks, these Soldiers recovered from the field, we TI'd (performed technical inspections) and prepared all vehicles and equipment for shipment, and we containerized Husky's, which is a task never before done by this company," he said.
"It was not easy, but we became strong," Million added.
This will be the first deployment for Spc. Shawn-Michael Tueller, medic with the 509th, who said he is looking forward to the opportunity to see other parts of the world and the unique culture in Korea.
As for the hard work the company put in to be ready, he agreed the team came together to accomplish their pre-deployment mission.
"From multiple field problems to classroom training, there has been a lot we have done while navigating a lot of moving parts in preparation for this," Tueller said. "The 509th has really done a great job of building a solid foundation for itself based on training and hard work, and we've really set ourselves up for success. I'm really looking forward to seeing that all come together and seeing us work and move as a single unit."
The 509th Clearance Co.'s mission in Korea will mirror their responsibilities at Fort Leonard Wood, with an added training aspect.
"One of the things we are trying to incorporate is training with the Korean armed forces," Million said.
"They don't train on route clearance, so we've been told it would be nice for us to go over there and give them a perspective of what that is," he added.
Lt. Col. Jacqueline Reini, 5th Engineer Battalion commander, said the Soldiers are prepared for their deployment.
"Go forward confidently, knowing you are ready to accomplish any mission you'll be given," she said. "You have demonstrated through your train up that you are a strong, talented and cohesive team."