FORT KNOX, Ky. – Members of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command’s Strategic Operations and Plans Blue Team returned to Fort Knox, Kentucky Dec. 15, after completing a six-month deployment to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, where they helped plan and facilitate the rapid and historic exit of U.S. Forces from Afghanistan in July 2021.
Maj. Gen. Michel M. Russell Sr., commanding general, 1st TSC, welcomed his teammates home.
“Absorb this moment,” Russell said. “You became part of history.”
Nearly two dozen Soldiers returned to cheers from teammates and hugs from family members in front of the 1st TSC headquarters building where they departed from in June. Children were jumping up and down and loved ones waved “welcome home” signs as they waited for their Soldiers to return home for the holidays.
In addition to the Afghanistan operations, the SOaP Blue Team planned and facilitated the establishment of Theater Safe Haven Operations at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, in August 2021 and had many other accomplishments over the past six months.
As part of their ongoing mission, the SOaP serves as the 1st TSC Main Command Post’s constant forward presence, always ready to respond to contingencies and set the conditions for successful sustainment operations across the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility.
During periods of transition, the SOaP remains the continuity for the rotational Expeditionary Sustainment Commands supporting the 1st TSC and U.S. Army Central, helping to accelerate shared understanding and reduce the risk to the mission.
“On behalf of the command, thank you for allowing us the time we had with your Soldiers,” Russell said, addressing the assembled family members. “Now enjoy this Christmas together,” he said.
The commanding general added that he didn’t want to take any more of their time with a speech as he released them to their families.
The SOaP Red Team deployed in early December, replacing this team and carrying on the mission of ensuring warfighters have the supplies and transportation capabilities they need to accomplish their mission in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.