Army Reserve 846th Transportation Co deploying to Iraq again

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Frank DeLoache
Salisbury Post
The U.S. Army Reserve’s 846th Transportation Company, based in Salisbury, is preparing for a second deployment to Iraq.
Officials will only say the unit is going to the southwest Asia region, but the same unit spent 17 months in 2003 and 2004 moving equipment and supplies to U.S. troops in Iraq.
The soldiers are currently in Virginia for about three weeks of training, and they will also spend time at another base in Indiana.
A farewell ceremony, which will be open to the public, is scheduled for March 31 at the unit’s headquarters at 1835 Jake Alexander Blvd, near the Salisbury Mall.
Jennifer Welch, team leader of the 846th’s Family Readiness Group, said the group already is holding “mobilization meetings” for spouses of soldiers in the unit.
Sgt. Yolanda Guevara is serving as the rear detachment commander for the medium truck transportation company.
“We are trying to promote readiness among spouses” by dealing with such issues as finances, health insurance and the actual separation itself, Welch said.
Military policy prohibits officials from saying the number of soldiers in the unit, except to say it will deploy at full strength.
In 2003, the 846th had 160 members who live throughout the state. They left Salisbury Feb. 14, 2003, and went to Fort Bragg for final preparations.
The unit arrived in Kuwait April 11, 2003, and spent 15 months ferrying equipment and supplies.
The unit was scheduled to come home in April 2004, but military commanders extended its tour into July.
Welch said members of the 846th ó known officially as the 846th TC[MT], for medium truck ó expect to serve a “standard rotation schedule,” which is a year.
“We’re not expecting to be extended this time,” she added. “Things are a lot more predictable than in ’04. It’s settled down with the build up” of troops, commonly referred to as “the surge” ordered by President George Bush in 2007.
The Family Readiness Group has 15 members as well as five “friends” who are helping support the unit, Welch said.
Once the unit deploys overseas, Welch said she hopes to organize at least two ongoing programs to support the soldiers ó with care packages and phone cards.
Any individual or local group interested in supporting the soldiers through the Family Readiness Group should call Sgt. Guevara at 704-637-6167.
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Contact Frank DeLoache at 704-797-4245 or fdeloache@salisburypost.com.

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