FORT SNELLING, Minnesota –
More than 160 Minnesota-based Army Reserve Soldiers with the 372nd Engineer Brigade said goodbye to friends and family during a mobilization ceremony Oct. 10.
Guests flanked the deploying Soldiers standing before them on the historic parade field as they embarked on their tour as part of Operation Spartan Shield, headquartered in Kuwait.
The Mobilizing Commander, Col. Noel F. Palmer, addressed the unit, also known as Task Force Timberwolf, regarding their upcoming deployment as the Theater Engineer Brigade (TEB). The TEB is spread out across a number of countries, including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar. Their work as the TEB includes providing mission command, combat support and technical and tactical guidance.
“It is more than support. It’s being a combat multiplier,” Palmer said during the ceremony. “As engineers, very simply, we build a better mouse trap. Whether through our primary mission of general engineering or construction or other engineering capabilities, such as geospatial engineering, we use critical thinking and intellect. We have an eye for force protection; a technical ability to improve the quality of life of other units.”
While the 204th Army Band played for the guests, Soldiers took in the words of their leadership and the enormity of their upcoming mission.
“I think we have a really great group. It will be a great experience,” said Spc. Charlie Faude, a geospatial engineer who will be going on her first deployment. “We’ll get to learn a lot and experience a lot of new things, so I’m very excited!”
The higher headquarters Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Matthew V. Baker, 416th Theater Engineer Command, also addressed the troops during the ceremony. “This is a life changing event for you,” he said. “You are going to come back a different person, a better person, and you’re going to be proud of what you’ve done.”
After the 30-minute ceremony was complete, guests took to the parade field to wish their Soldiers farewell with big hugs and lots of smiles.
Before the troops were released, Palmer left a final message to the Soldiers of Task Force Timberwolf, “You are here because you still hold and are willing to fight for American ideals… I truly look forward to serving with you in theater.”
The ceremony was recorded live on Facebook and is available to watch at www.facebook.com/416thTEC.
Unit Public Affairs Representative Sgt. Shane Carlson contributed to this article.