Jan. 18, 2008 - 401st AFSB Afghanistan - Gen. Benjamin S. Griffin, commanding general, U.S. Army Materiel Command spent the day visiting Soldiers at Forward Operation Bases in Afghanistan.

Griffin had lunch with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment Soldiers in FOB Orgun-E. During lunch, Griffin spoke with the paratroopers about their equipment needs in the field.

The 1/503rd Infantry, out of Vicenza, Italy, are situated in the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan where the temperatures drop well below freezing and the snow remains longer than most other parts of Afghanistan.

To combat the cold weather, the Soldiers are fielding cold weather boots from Program Executive Office-Soldier. The 401st Army Field Support Brigade assisted the unit in receiving the boots, which will be added to their cold weather kit as they begin the long, cold winter operations.

Griffin continued on to FOB Ghanzi where he presided over the re-enlistment of Sgts. Forrest Young and Brian McGilvary, and Spc. Arquimides Sanchez, all of Foxtrot Company, 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

"I will always remember this day. I only wish my family could have been there to experience that special day," said McGilvary, an automated logistics specialist.

Sanchez, a light wheeled vehicle mechanic on his first deployment, described his meeting as "a good experience to shake the hand of a key leader of the Army."

Young, a fuel specialist, is serving on his second deployment and described the re-enlistment ceremony as "simply awesome."

"It is not everyday that a four-star general re-enlists Paratroopers in a deployed environment," says Young.