Rough riders ready to ride out
109th Transportation bound for Afghanistan
By Spc. Tamika Dillard
As light burst through cloudy skies, the Soldiers of 109th Transportation Company, 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, cased their guidon during a deployment ceremony June 30 on Pershing Field.
Family, friends, and fellow Soldiers filled the seats to witness the event, marking the unit’s first 12-month deployment to Afghanistan.
“I want to take a moment to recognize the families of the company,” said 17th CSSB commander, Lt. Col. Charles Russell in remarks. “Your dedication and support is critical in this company’s state of readiness and it will remain throughout the deployment. Your sacrifice and support are very important and very much appreciated. I personally thank you.”
“Capt. Zallo and 1SG Walker, we entrust these great Soldiers to you as a testament to your strong positive leadership,” Russell said. “Every Soldier deserves outstanding leadership and this company has that in you two. Your high standards and caring are evident by the Soldiers in formation today. I know they can count on you to take care of them.”
Although the deployment will be a challenging one, 109th Trans is up to the task, according to Capt. Kimberly Zallo, company commander. This is the first Afghanistan deployment for the company.
“The Transportation Corps mission is one of the most selfless jobs getting done in Afghanistan,” Zallo said. I am confident there is no task that this company cannot complete. These Soldiers will ensure that fellow Soldiers on the front lines will have food, ammo and anything they need.”
As the ceremony came to a close, the more than 150 Soldiers formed a circle around Col. Barry K. Williams, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Maneuver Enhancement Bridge commander and Sgt. Maj. Charlie Lane, HHC, 3rd MEB sergeant major.
“We don’t want any one of you to worry about your families,” Williams said. “[Command] Sgt. Maj. Lane and I will make sure that they will be taken care of while you are gone.
“The enemies out there know that you all are highly trained and they’re running scared,” he said. “Get out there; complete your mission and come back home to your families.”
“Who are you?” Command Sgt. Maj. Lane shouted to the Soldiers.
“1-0-9” echoed across the parade field.