Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Debralee Best
363rd Public Affairs Detachment
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – About 20 soldiers said farewell to family, friends and fellow soldiers at a mobilization farewell ceremony Sept. 7 at the U.S. Army Reserve Center.
The 560th Transportation Detachment, Movement Control Team, is preparing to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The unit will support theater transportation by providing support operations and in-transit visibility of personnel and cargo.
“The mission will be challenging, it will be rewarding and it will be enjoyable all at the same time,” said Lt. Col. David Lee, commander, 484th Movement Control Battalion. “Embrace the challenges, enjoy the singleness of purpose and the camaraderie you guys are going to experience.”
This will be the 560th’s first deployment. The unit was called up for a deployment about five years ago, according to Maj. Frank Perez, 560th commander from Conway, Mo. However, the unit was instead used as a “donor” unit, where soldiers are transferred to other units for deployment.
Approximately half of the unit has deployed, said Perez. Those soldiers have shared their experiences with those who will be deploying for the first time.
“They’re a very cohesive group,” he added “They’re ready and eager to go and show what they can do.”
Soldiers in the unit echo Perez’s sentiment.
“I’m proud to be in the 560th and leaving with this unit,” said Spc. Sarah Nesmith, 560th transportation management specialist and Bolivar, Mo., native. “We’re very close and have been together a long time now. I couldn’t think of better people to go with.”
Senior leadership also had words of encouragement for the soldiers about what they will experience overseas.
“You will never find this in the civilian world,” said Lee. “The time you spend over there, working together as a team with one purpose, it’s awesome. It’s one of the best experiences you’ll ever have. Remember it.”
And there were also words of encouragement for the family members at the ceremony.
“The soldiers of the 560th MCT are family in the absence of family, we truly care for each other and will watch out for each other,” said Perez. “At the end of the day, we are brothers and sisters in arms.”