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NEWS | July 11, 2024

450th Movement Control Battalion receives sendoff

By Capt. Derek Cobb 451st Expeditionary Sustainment Command

The 450th Movement Control Battalion (MCB) conducted a Farewell Ceremony for an upcoming deployment to CENTCOM at the Larry Norvell Band Shell in City Park on June 22, 2024.

The ceremony honored the men and women, who volunteered to sacrifice their time with Family and friends to provide sustainment support for Operation Spartan Shield.

Leadership from the 451st Expeditionary Sustainment Command (ESC) and the 561st Regional Support Group (RSG) were present to support the 450th MCB leadership and their organization. They each expressed great confidence in the team heading overseas and reminded Families of the support system available within the commands to aid Families.

“If there are things that you need, make sure you reach out, please do not ever suffer in silence,” said Brig. Gen. Brandi Peasley, the 451st ESC commanding general, “If you need something, we will find a way to support you and your Families through any of the concerns that you have.”

Brig. Gen. Peasley awarded challenge coins to several Soldiers for their remarkable contributions and support of the mobilization. Those recipients were Sgt. Kiel Brunken, Sgt. 1st Class Brad Coates, Sgt. 1st Class Jesus Sonoda, and 1st Lt. Wallace Rachford. Capt. Dominque Sumpter, 450th MCB S2/S3, was also recognized for her leadership in planning and coordinating the ceremony.

Mobilizing Soldiers gave a sunflower to the person who will be their stateside support while deployed. This is a symbol of love and compassion as their mission to maintain the home is not an easy task.

The unit received a proper sendoff with support from the local community and afar. The Kansas Army Reserve Ambassador John Schoen was the guest speaker. 1LT Augustus Zuo, 450th MCB chaplain, gave the invocation and benediction. Live patriotic music was provided by the 312th Army Band out of Lawrence, Kansas. There were several vendors providing food, entertainment, and resources to Soldiers and their Families. Children wrote letters to their Army parents who would receive them after they deployed.

Ambassador Schoen shared some of his experience with deployments and gave the audience two suggestions to think about.

“The first is that the deployments that you do, whether this is your first or, whether it’s your fifth one, when you are done with your time in uniform, and you’re looking back with a perspective of what you’ve accomplished, you’re going to be really thankful that you raised your hand,” he said. “The second thing that I will suggest to you is that the success of your deployment is largely dependent upon your attitude going in. And I don’t mean success as in mission success. That’s up to Colonel Smith. What I’m talking about is your personal success, your individual success, your mental state success, your Family’s success is going to be dependent on ‘I’ve accepted this.’”

Ambassador Schoen also shared a story about how he was assigned one more deployment to Afghanistan prior to his retirement. He was not expecting it and shared the news with his wife and Family. His wife responded with an attitude of support and understanding that completely changed his outlook. As he began to learn about his deployment, he got his children involved to learn about his upcoming assignment and they looked at it as an adventure their father was leaving for.

“Now, many years later, all three of those those kids ended up going into the Army,” Ambassador Schoen said, “And I think part of that, again, is attitude.”