By 3d Sustainment Command Expeditionary Public AffairsJuly 1, 2009
CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Soldiers from the 1538th Transportation Company conducted their final mission on June 5, wrapping up a successful 12-month deployment, and marked the end of their deployment with a transfer of authority ceremony here June 25. The last official mission for the Elkhart, Ind., unit was one routine and uneventful. However, it was bittersweet to some members going "outside the wire." "It was an honor and a privilege," said Sgt. Robert Neiswender, a Scottsburg, Ind., native. The team participating in the final mission consisted of Neiswender, 1st Lt. G. Elizabeth Brown, an Indianapolis native, Sgt. 1st Class Marion Siebenthal, a Madison, Ind. native, and Sgt. Michael Varesi, a Columbus, Ind. native. During their tenure, the unit provided cargo transfer, line haul support, and convoy security to units throughout Iraq. The Soldiers of the 1538th Trans. Co., conducted a wide variety of missions to include command and control of the Taji central receiving shipping point, security escort missions of both military and civilian fuel trucks from the movement control team yard to the bulk fuel farm, and transportation of all classes of supply throughout theater. "Without transporters, there are no bullets and beans," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Brian Kabay, a North Liberty, Ind. native. Capt. Phillip Anderson, 1538th Trans. Co. commander and Plainfield, Ind. native, said he is very proud of the Soldiers' accomplishments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and all the sacrifices they have made throughout this deployment. The 1538th Trans. Co. Soldiers safely transported more than 12 million gallons of fuel, 541 tons of equipment, and drove more than 130,000 miles without a single accident. These Soldiers will return home to Indiana in the summer of 2009 after accomplishing their mission here.