Working in supply full time in the National Guard isn’t easy and adding a deployment to the workload makes it that much harder.Soldiers often go to supply for simple things like uniforms and boots. However, what most don’t see is all the other work that is required of them.“Preparing for a deployment has its challenges,” said Staff Sgt. Nicole Carlson, the supply sergeant for the 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters and Support Company. “The biggest hurdle of getting into country was trying to figure out where equipment was going to be assigned as we aren’t doing a typical MTOE (Modified Tables of Organization and Equipment) mission.”MTOE is what the U.S. Army uses to break down what is needed by a company to be combat effective.“Not doing a typical MTOE mission makes it hard to assign equipment to sections,” said Carlson. “Normally, we would be able to just go down by paragraph and line assigning equipment, but with people going to different countries, we can’t do that.” The 42nd Infantry Division had to send Soldiers to several different countries to conduct its mission while deployed to the Middle East.“Just getting equipment moved to prepare it to be sent overseas was hard, then trying to figure out where it was going after added to the already full plate,” said Carlson. “It wasn’t easy moving everything from Troy to Fort Drum that was three-plus hours away and only had full timers to do it.”“We had to drive humvees up to Fort Drum for what seemed like every day for a month to get all the trucks there,” said Sgt. Randy Bennett, the assistant supply specialist for the 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters and Support Company.The National Guard has full-time positions called Active Guard Reserve and Active Duty Operational Support. These are the full-time staff that takes care of administrative tasks, training requirements and supply needs.“Having only full-time staff to get things done made things even harder as there are only a few of us per company,” said Carlson. “The AGRs and ADOS from each company worked together to get things done; it was a team effort.”Most Soldiers in the National Guard only drill one weekend a month; these are called M-Day Soldiers.“Not having the support of our M-Day force made things hard, but doing things you’d never done like loading vehicles onto a plane made things harder,” said Carlson. “I hadn’t deployed before, so a lot of things I was learning as we went.”“Things became a little easier once everyone was on Title 10, but we still had very long days,” said Bennett. “There are a lot of things that only Staff Sgt. Carlson and I can do but having our commander and first sergeant right here has helped.”“Now that we are here in country, things have become easier with the support of our traditional M-Day guys,” said Carlson. “With everyone being active duty and having the support of the commander, first sergeant and other Soldiers, I can focus on the logistics side of things.”The 42nd Infantry Division has four companies deployed currently that are making up the division Headquarters, Headquarters Battalion with each company having to go through the process of getting equipment moved.The 42nd Infantry Division is now more than halfway through their deployment and beginning to prepare things to hand off to their relief. The division is also starting to prepare equipment to be sent back home.“Going home is so much better than coming here for many reasons, but again coming here was the only full-time staff and going home, we have everyone to help,” said Carlson. “We have already done it once just doing the same things again to leave, plus everyone is motived to get home.”“This deployment has been tough not just being away from home but also dealing with COVID -19, but we are getting closer to the end and can’t wait to be home with our families and friends,” said Carlson.