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NEWS | March 7, 2016

Army Reserve battalion deploys in support Operation Inherent Resolve

By Lt. Col. Gregg Moore 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)

BUCKEYE, Ariz. – “We’ve always had people throughout our history, within the United States, that stood up and said ‘I’ll do that, I’ll go fight for this country’ … this new generation is following in the footsteps of other great Americans to stand up and do the hard jobs,” said Brig. Gen. David Elwell, Commanding General, 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).

The Army Reserve’s 336th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion held their final home-state formation, March 5th, 2016, before departing the Phoenix-area for a long mobilization in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. The combat sustainment support battalion will provide a full range of logistics and synchronization of distribution operations support within a designated area as part of the modular force.

“Whenever there is instability in the world, there is only one entity that the world calls on. That’s the United States Army. We put Soldiers on the ground to do the job they know how to do to create some calm in the region,” said Elwell.

The 336th CSSB will provide expert logistics support for the fight to degrade and defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL. With 65 percent of the Army’s logistics capability, the fight is dependent upon the Army Reserve.

Elwell told the families and loved ones, “There is only one way they can do this and be successful and that is with your support. They need the support of the people that matter the most: their family, their loved ones, their parents, spouses, and their children.”

Family, friends, veterans of all ages, and community members came to support their hometown Reserve unit at a mobilization ceremony. Including American Legion Post 29, Glendale, Arizona, commanded by Steve Jones. The post provided a color guard with Korean and Vietnam War veterans.

Col. Christopher Barra, Commander of the 336th CSSB's higher headquarters, the 653rd Regional Support Group, spoke to the Soldiers and family members about the importance of the deployment and to thank them for their support. Barra commented on the dedication and flexibility of this unit, which was not certain about the exact date their deployment would begin until less than a month before they left. He told the families, “Thank you for all the hard work, thank you for putting up with so much uncertainty and confusion and for keeping these Soldiers so motivated and ready to go. You all ought to be very proud of yourselves.”

Spc. Leslie Rubio, a supply specialist who joined the Army Reserve a year and a half before this deployment said she’s excited to deploy and describes the unit as a “great group of people.” As a student at Estrella Mountain Community College, Rubio plans to complete a degree in nursing when she returns from overseas. She told her family, “thank you for your patience and support." She said she loves them so much and I can’t wait to see them again.

The 336th CSSB was originally constituted February 25th, 1943, as the 336th Ordnance Battalion, Fort Jackson, South Carolina. The unit deactivated following World War II to be reactivated for a year during the Vietnam War era, beginning in 1968 at Little Rock, Arkansas. In 2006, the unit was re-designated as the 336th CSSB in Phoenix. They were next mobilized to support the detention mission in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 2011. Since returning from Cuba in 2012, the unit has prepared for expeditionary missions by training at home and at various Army Reserve training centers.

Spc. Eric Arellano, a human resource specialist from Tucson, Arizona said, “It’s a good unit, a good group of people. We have great NCOs and great officers who are willing to go the extra mile.” Like the rest of the unit, Arellano is going to miss those staying behind. He said, “I have a really good group of friends, I’m pretty sad about leaving them.” This is Arellano’s first deployment.

Spc Patrick Dewitt, an intelligence analyst from Tucson, Arizona, said, “I’m excited! I’ve been wanting to deploy since I joined.”  

“Soldiers, I’ve got to say to you, thank you. Thank you very much for standing up and doing the job,” said Elwell.