CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION SPEICHER, Iraq - The 70th Transportation Company passed its mission to the 724th Transportation Company, during a transfer of authority ceremony Oct. 12 at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Facility at Contingency Operating Location Speicher, Iraq.

The 70th Trans. Co. was one of the last units to serve a 15-month deployment during Operation Iraqi Freedom and will soon return to their home base in Mannheim, Germany.

Capt. Patrick Henrick served as the commander of the 70th Trans. Co. during the 15-month deployment.

"True, there are many more companies who drove more miles or conducted more missions than the 256,000 miles and 161 missions we had," said Henrick.

"There are other companies that are responsible for more equipment than the $26 million we took care of. There are quite a few examples of companies that were also forced to change mission and relocate to a new base. There are other companies who turned in more excess (equipment) than the $7.57 million we turned in, but there are not too many who did it all at the same time. Fifteen months is a long time."

Henrick said he is most proud of the fact that every one of the 158 Soldiers who deployed with his unit is returning safely back to Germany.

First Sgt. Andrew Crockwell, with the 70th Trans. Co., said the greatest danger during a 15-month deployment is complacency. He is proud of his Soldiers and leaders for handling the last few months of the deployment professionally and not allowing complacency within the unit.
With their mission complete, the 70th's Soldiers are now focusing on redeployment and returning home to their loved ones, said Crockwell.

"These Soldiers are tremendously excited about returning to Germany, getting back to the Mannheim community, reuniting with their family members ... they are bursting at the seams," he said.

Maj. Sean F. Counihan, commander of the 724th Transportation Company out of Bartonville, Ill., said his unit has a big job ahead of them.

"Over the next 10 months our mission will be extremely dynamic," said Counihan. "(The 724th TC) will be a vital cog in the logistical machine that is responsible for the redeployment of forces and equipment in the Iraqi theater of operation."

Although it is a difficult mission, Counihan said his unit has the experience and skills it needs to succeed.

"In order to accomplish this task, we need to be responsive, flexible and opportunistic," said Counihan.

"We have a great deal of experience in this unit, but we must not fall into that last-time mentality. We need to be aware of our current operating environment, and continue to adapt and improve every day."