BAMBERG, Germany — U.S. Army Europe’s only sustainment brigade is about to deploy for the first time.

In a ceremony Thursday at Warner Barracks, the 16th Sustainment Brigade, as well as the unit’s Special Troops Battalion, cased its colors in preparation for a 15-month tour in Iraq. Both units were activated 11 months ago.

Also in formation during the ceremony were troops from the 18th and 391st Combat Sustainment Support battalions, which already have deployed. The 18th, stationed in Grafenwöhr, cased its colors in May. Bamberg’s 391st did so in February.

All told, about 50 percent of the 16th’s soldiers are already downrange, said the brigade commander, Col. Martin Pitts. The rest will be deploying over the next several weeks.

For Pitts and many in his unit, it will be the first deployment, but he said his soldiers are more than prepared.

"Our training has gone very well, and we do have quite a few folks that have [deployed] before."

For first-timer Pfc. Jesse Molette, 20, it’s exciting.

"I’ll do anything for my unit; I love my section," the Fayetteville, N.C.-native said. "It’s my time to step up to the plate."

Pitts said that he and his staff were aware of a looming deployment even before the unit was activated, giving the 16th ample time to prepare.

While deployed, the 16th will handle finance, postal, ordnance, transportation and explosive ordnance disposal missions.

"We will be in charge of logistics for all of northern Iraq. It’s an area bigger than the size of Pennsylvania," said the unit public affairs officer, Sgt. 1st Class Adam Shaw.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now