By Staff Sgt. Courtney M. SmithJuly 5, 2017
FORT HOOD, Texas -- The city of Bunkie, Louisiana is located in the center of the state and is home to one of the state's many Army National Guard units. Soldiers from all over the region join here to serve their state and country as part of the 1086th Transportation Company.
The Soldiers assigned to 1086th Trans. Co. have trained monthly at their home station and now are preparing to deploy abroad.
With training support from the 120th Infantry Brigade, the 1086th "Spartans" were validated and mobilized at Fort Hood May 14 -- June 30, 2017. The company is deploying in support of Operation Spartan shield in Kuwait.
Although the Spartans pre-validated at Camp Beauregard, Louisiana, they received additional training with 120th observer coach/trainers.
"We are more prepared to complete our mission since coming here," said Capt. Murphy Hall, commander of the 1086th Trans. Co. "We've received hands-on training with crew-served weapons.
A lot of the Soldiers are new and have not been on a range since basic training."
For more than 70 percent of the Soldiers, this will be their first time mobilizing and deploying to a foreign country.
"I'm anxious and nervous because I don't know what to expect, but I'm more than ready for the experience," said Pvt. 1st Class Antionette Lavine, a food service specialist assigned to the 1086th Trans. Co. "The training we received here makes me feel better prepared since this is my first deployment. I especially learned a lot from the rollover training."
Seasoned noncommissioned officers are within the ranks to coach and mentor the junior troops.
"The majority of the unit has never deployed before," said Staff Sgt. Geoffry Moseley, a motor transport operator with the 1086th Trans. Co. "The OC/Ts made this a realistic training environment. As long as the newer Soldiers listen and remember their training, we'll be successful."
All the training performed by the 120th OC/Ts helped prepare the unit.
"The convoy training was essential, and the mission rehearsal exercise was vital to honing our warrior task and battle drills," said Moseley, a Shreveport native.
The hands-on training with the 120th OC/Ts satisfied the Soldiers' curiosity about tactics and procedures in theater.
"Coming here answered my questions about simple things, like ways to communicate and not alerting the enemy," said Lavine, a Ville Platte native. "I'm ready for the unknown."
Through mission and tasks the Spartans will become a more cohesive team, said Hall.
"There is an advantage to having new Soldiers in our ranks: the leaders will have a legitimate chance to guide and teach over the next few months," said Hall.
Regardless of the individual's time in service, OC/Ts permeation has them ready for movement, said Hall.
"I'm looking forward to this deployment and being there for my troops, taking them over there and bringing them back home," Hall said. "We live by 'the sound of the 300' like in the movie, but remember our motto 'You can't move without us.'"