Unit prepares for first deployment under new name
Stars and Stripes March 1, 2008
BAMBERG, Germany — The headquarters company for 391st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion is about to deploy for the first time.
Formerly known as the 191st Ordnance Battalion, the unit moved from Miesau, Germany, to Bamberg last summer, becoming part of the 16th Sustainment Brigade.
In a short ceremony Thursday on Warner Barracks, the company’s 78 soldiers cased their colors and said an official goodbye to family and friends. The troops will deploy sometime before March 15, said Lt. Col. Ronald Pacheco, battalion commander.
While in Iraq, the unit will be in charge of 1,500 soldiers providing logistical support to units in the northern part of the country, an area known as Multi-National Division—North to troops downrange, and will be based near the city of Tikrit, Pacheco said.
Though this is the first official deployment for the unit, more than half of the soldiers have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan at least once.
“Forty-four of our 78 have deployed before, many more than once. I have one soldier who will be on his fourth tour,” Pacheco said.
Pacheco added that his 13 officers and 64 enlisted men are ready to get their deployment under way. “They’re all extremely competent and very well trained; everyone wants to go,” he said.
For Sgt. Michael Wyderka, 32, this marks the beginning of a third deployment since 2003, all to Iraq. Having begun his career 11 years ago in Miesau when the unit was still the 191st, the unit training noncommissioned officer said, “I really feel that the first 30 days and the attitude of the leadership will greatly impact the soldiers.”
So far, Wyderka said, everything’s been positive.
While playing with his 3- year-old son, Carson, Spc. Justin McCauley said he’s looking forward to leaving, if for nothing else than to wear the 16th’s new unit patch he helped design.
“I definitely want to get down there and wear that,” McCauley said, pointing to his shoulder.