554th MP Company platoons deploying to Afghanistan
BÖBLINGEN, Germany — Three platoons from the Stuttgart-based 554th Military Police Company are about to deploy for one year to Afghanistan. Some are already seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
“The mission we’re going to be running, how much money we’re going to bring back, and what we’re going to do when we get back,” was on the mind of Pfc. Thomas Brinch.
Brinch said he was looking forward to the deployment, but it also helped to look beyond the year away from home. He added that he wasn’t scared.
“More like nervous,” Brinch said. “It’s just the unknown, and you always want to be prepared for the unknown.”
The three Stuttgart platoons — 2nd, 3rd and Headquarters — will join up with two platoons from the Kaiserslautern-based 230th MP Company to form Task Force War Dog. The task force of about 135 soldiers will relieve the 212th MP Company of Kitzingen/Ansbach.
At a brief pre-deployment ceremony on Thursday inside the Panzer Casern gym, wives with camcorders and children holding small flags watched and wondered about the year ahead.
“We’ve been talking about it, trying to see the good points in it,” said Hanna Jumonville, wife of Spc. Roy Jumonville.
And the good points?
“They’ll be back in a year, hopefully,” she said. “And they’re going to Afghanistan, not Iraq.”
Roy Jumonville served a tour in Iraq, but many in Task Force War Dog are going downrange for the first time.
Amanda Telesco, wife of 2nd Lt. Charles Telesco, held their 2-month-old baby, Charles Anthony Jr., who’ll be a walking, talking toddler when dad comes home. Mom said she’s talked with wives who’ve been through it before.
“There’ll be moments when you miss him and are angry that you are alone,” she said. “There will be proud moments, and you’re proud that you are the other half of him.
“You get extremely sad and want to hold onto him, but they have a bigger job to do.”
Task Force War Dog will disperse to bases around Kabul and lend support to the 10th Mountain Division, which is deploying to Afghanistan at about the same time.
The MPs will provide rolling support for dismounted troops and work with the Afghan civilian police, among other duties, according to Task Force commander Capt. Donald Davidson. They’ve been training on their M-4 rifles, large and medium automatic weapons and grenade launchers.
“My only regret is that we couldn’t take all of (the company) and deploy,” Davidson said. “Some of them have to stay back here and work the roads.”
Sgt. 1st Class Ronald McGirr has been around the block a few times, serving in wars in Panama, Afghanistan and Iraq. He’ll have two Purple Heart recipients in his platoon.
“They (younger soldiers) can see that people can get injured, but are getting ready to deploy again,” McGirr said. “If they have faith in the equipment, the training they received, and their leadership, they’ll be fine.”