Approximately 210 Soldiers from 227th Composite Supply Company, 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div. returned home from United States Army Europe, Nov. 29, after a nine-month deployment in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
U.S. Army Europe's Operation Atlantic Resolve demonstrates continued U.S. commitment to collective security in order to reassure North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies and partners of America's dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region following Russia's intervention in Ukraine, according to the official U.S. Army Europe page.
According to Capt. Amanda Fonk, commander for 227th CSC, 129th CSSB, the mission for the Soldiers of 227th CSC was to provide commodity support across the Atlantic Resolve Joint Operations Area.
"The Soldiers of 227th [CSC] provide fuel, water, maintenance and shower and laundry support for multinational partners, U.S forces and allies in seven countries, which included Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany, Lithuania, and Belgium during the nine-months," stated the Racine, Wisconsin native.
Over the nine-months, Soldiers from the Supply Support Activity section supported stock control, receiving, issue, storage and turn in that provided multiclass support to over 200 units. A team from the company established the first two fuel system supply point sites in the Joint Area of Operation in Romania and Poland, produced and distributed over 472K gallons of water to three countries, and established four shower sites for over 2,000 service members.
Aside from providing support, Fonk stated that Soldiers from 227th CSC also interacted with NATO allies and local populace during their deployment.
"We worked with Polish, Romanias, Croatians, Ukrainians, Hungarians, Germans, Slovakians, and Czechs during training exercises, missions, and convoy operations," explained Fonk. "Some of our Soldiers even had the opportunity to play soccer and participated in English classes with Polish kids."
Spc. Tomas Rios, a water treatment specialist with 227th CSC, was one of the many Soldiers who was able to train alongside foreign forces.
"We trained [the different forces] on the load handling system compatible water tank rack and they then showed us how their water purification system works," said Rios. "It was a great experience teaching and learning alongside the different forces."
According to Rios, this was his first deployment and he enjoyed doing his job.
"I was able to purify water for Soldiers throughout the different countries," said Rios. "Sometimes we didn't have much room to fully set up or filtration system because of the environment but we always made sure the water was purified to standard."
Rios said the most difficult part of the deployment was leaving his loved ones behind.
"I consider myself pretty resilient, so I took it day by day," explained Rios. "I used FaceTime to contact my family as much as I could."
Rios said that before leaving for nine-months in support of OAR, his fiancée was pregnant with their first child and their daughter was born before he came back.
Upon his return to Fort Campbell, Rios said he wasn't expecting to see anyone at the homecoming ceremony.
"When we were told to fall out [of formation] I started to walk outside to get my bags and then I turned around and saw [my fiancée and my daughter], I was speechless," said Rios. "I felt great to be back."
Like Rios, Fonk was also happy to be back especially so close to the holidays.
"The hard work these Soldiers have done throughout the last nine-months has really paid off," said Fonk. "To be able to spend the holidays and bring in the New Year with Family and friends is a great way to close out 2017, so as a commander I am so happy to be able to bring my Soldiers back."