21st TSC Troops Deploy To Afghanistan
By Steve Mraz
Stars and Stripes
March 21, 2005
When their boots hit combat soil, they'll find themselves in an ancient,
war-damaged nation in places such as Bagram, Kandahar and Kabul.
And they wont be returning for a year.
Roughly 170 soldiers under the umbrella of the 21st Theater Support Command
loaded onto a commercial jet at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Saturday
afternoon and departed for a yearlong
Their mission: To provide logistical support and force protection for all
U.S.-friendly forces in Afghanistan.
Soldiers heading out Saturday represented the 330th Rear Operations Center
and the 29th Support Group Headquarters and Headquarters Company. Those elements
are part of the 21st TSC, which by July will have deployed about 1,100 troops to
Afghanistan for its joint logistics command mission.
While waiting to depart Saturday, several troops said they were excited and
ready to go. Troops used the long wait to catnap, fiddle with their iPods and
get in a few games on a Sony PlayStation.
Also with the group Saturday were 54 soldiers with the 208th Finance
Battalion under the command of Lt. Col. Kathryn Hall. The unit "brings the cash
to the battlefield" to pay soldiers and contractors, Hall said.
"[The the 208th soldiers] have certainly earned their place on this team,"
All the troops will fly to Kyrgyzstan and from there will depart to several
locations in Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Renee Walker of the 29th Support Group HHC is keeping an open mind
about her yearlong deployment, but is reassured by the ability of her troops in
"It's almost like I'm with family and soldiers at the same time," she said.
"I know their capabilities, and they know my capabilities."
After looking into the eyes of his soldiers, Col. Walter J. Sawyer, commander
of the 29th Support Group, knew his troops were ready for their Afghanistan
"What they are getting ready to do is not only important to the guy or gal
next to them but to the entire mission," he said.
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