FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Feb. 2, 2018) -- Soldiers from the 925th Contracting Battalion at Fort Drum conducted a casing ceremony Feb. 2 in preparation for a deployment to Iraq and Kuwait in
support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR).

This is the unit's second deployment since it was activated in October 2013.
Soldiers from 925th CBN deployed in 2015 alongside the 10th Mountain
Division (LI) in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel in Afghanistan.

Lt. Col. Jessie K. Griffith, battalion commander, said that the past several
months have been focused on preparing the unit as Soldiers and contracting

"Throughout this entire process, we have worked hand-in-hand with the 10th
Mountain Division staff and Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, and we
are excited to continue this relationship in the coming months," Griffith

The 925th CBN will serve as the Regional Contracting Center and provide
contracting support to enhance and sustain building partner capacity
operations that enable efforts to counter ISIS and increase regional
stability. Griffith said that they will provide and oversee vital supply,
service and construction contracting support to CJTF-OIR and the 10th
Mountain Division.

"The impact of our operations will be far-reaching, as we will have the
responsibility for contracting support across Iraq," he said. "Our contracts
will improve the quality of life for every deployed Soldier, sailor, airman
and Marine, and provide crucial logistics support across the country and
increase the security of our homes away from home."

Griffith said that the 925th CBN Soldiers will focus their contracting
efforts on the employment of Iraq businesses and citizens while ensuring
transparent integration and communication with their mission partners.

"Our contracts will enable the military men and women of CJTF-OIR and 10th
Mountain Division to fully concentrate on their mission of building and
enhancing the capacity and capability of our partners in Iraq," he said.

Senior leaders, colleagues, family and friends attended the ceremony to wish
the Soldiers well before they depart Fort Drum.

This is Sgt. 1st Class Michael Welch's second deployment with the 925th CBN.
He will serve as the operations noncommissioned officer.

"I'm just ready to go," Welch said. "We've spent some time preparing for
this, reaching out to the unit we're going to replace and coordinating with
them. We take their lessons learned so when we get there we are ahead of the

Nearly 500 Soldiers with 10th Mountain Division (LI) Headquarters and
Headquarters Battalion also are preparing to deploy to Iraq.