By Spc. Andrew Orillion, 3rd Corps Support Command Public AffairsNovember 28, 2006
WEISBADEN, Germany -- The 3rd Corps Support Command hosted a Welcome Home Ceremony 11 a.m., Nov. 17, for Wiesbaden community Soldiers who recently redeployed from Operation Iraqi Freedom. Brig. Gen. Michael Lally, commanding general, 3rd COSCOM, spoke at the event honoring more than 600 Soldiers and civilians from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd COSCOM; Special Troops Battalion; 19th Support Center; Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 27th Transportation Battalion (MC); 626th Movement Control Team; Bravo Detachment, 55th Personnel Services Battalion and 1st Tactical Unmanned Ariel Vehicle Platoon, Charlie Company, 501st Military Intelligence Battalion.
Following an invocation by Col. (Chap.) Larry Robinson, Lally began his speech by welcoming back and thanking the Soldiers and civilians for their commitment to the nation.
"For our nation to be successful, the nation must be willing to serve. We are here today to thank you for your service to the nation," Lally said. "Your mission was important because it ultimately protects our homeland, our way of life and our allies while providing hope to future generations that they can live without fear of terrorism."
Lally then personally thanked each unit for its service and highlighted its accomplishments while deployed.
"Headquarters, 3rd COSCOM received the Meritorious Unit Commendation for meritorious service in support of military operations," Lally said. "They commanded seven brigades, 23 battalions and 122 company sized units with over 24,000 Soldiers in Iraq and Kuwait."
During the ceremony, the Meritorious Unit Commendation streamer was added to the 3rd COSCOM Guidon by Lally and Command Sgt. Maj. Willie C. Tennant Sr., 3rd COSCOM command sergeant major.
The contributions of the 3rd COSCOM's STB, headquartered in Kuwait, were mentioned next. Lally praised the STB for its role in helping to prepare units for their mission in Iraq.
"The battalion volunteered for difficult missions and expended the extra effort to ensure every unit was prepared for the Iraqi theater of operations," Lally said. "The STB served as a combat multiplier as they worked around the clock battle tracking, advising and moving thousands of tons of equipment and personnel through Kuwait and into Iraq."
During its deployment, the 19th SC served two vital functions, said Lally. It not only had to manage the materiel needs for all of Iraq, but had to meld six different companies into one cohesive unit to do it.
Lally also mentioned the 19th SC's humanitarian contribution to OIF.
Supporting over 200,000 personnel theater wide, the 19th's supply division was responsible for opening six bottled water plants, bottling over 111 million liters of water, saving $63 million. More importantly, the bottled water plants kept 9,500 trucks from have to navigate the dangerous streets of Iraq, said Lally.
This was the second deployment to Iraq for both 3rd COSCOM and 19th SC.
During its deployment, 27th Trans BN (MC) and its 24 forward movement control teams, were responsible for providing full spectrum movement control for the civil-military network in Iraq.
"The battalion's area of operations was roughly 430,000 square miles, with more than 2,200 miles of main and alternate supply routes, three international crossing points, 13 strategic airfields and 19 MCT transportation locations," Lally said.
In addition to Soldiers and civilians from 3rd COSCOM, Lally also recognized Soldiers from Bravo Detachment, 55th PSB, 1st PERSCOM and 1st TUAV Platoon, Charlie Com, 501st MI BN, 1 AD.
"Bravo Detachment, 55th PSB expanded their personnel services to both active and reserve component Soldiers at Camp Victory, Buehring, Arifijan and Virginia," Lally said. "They trained casualty liaison teams, facilitated mass casualty exercises and were responsible for the rest and recuperation briefs and orchestrated the Army's Deployment Cycle Support Program for forces into and out of theater."
1st UAV Platoon, Charlie Com, 501st MI BN, 1 AD, provided support with the use of one of the Army's newest tools, the TUAV.
"While supporting the 1st Armored Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, during the Iraqi national elections in December of 2005, the platoon flew over-watch missions for all of the polling and voting sites within the brigade's area of operations, significantly reducing the threat of attacks by insurgents and saving countless lives," Lally said.
Lally also thanked those in attendance who, while not serving downrange, still contributed to the effort.
"To everyone in the stands, these units in formation before you could not have accomplished their missions without your support," Lally said. "I congratulate all of you on a job well done and I thank you for what you continue to do for our Soldiers, their families and units in the Wiesbaden community."
Lally concluded by recognizing those who gave their lives during the deployment.
"In closing, let us give thanks to and never forget fallen comrades. The ultimate sacrifice each of these individuals made for their country is monumental," said Lally. "We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to each of them, their families, and loved ones."
When the ceremony ended, the Soldiers, civilians and family memebers enjoyed an indoor reception at the Tony Bass Fitness Center to celebrate their return home.