NEWBERRY — The 751st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion from Newberry held its departure ceremony Friday afternoon on the field at the National Guard Armory.
Seventy one soldiers are headed for training at Fort Hood, Texas, for about 45 days. Then they will head to the Middle East.
The 751st Battalion “provides everything the soldier needs to do the job. This battalion provides support (for the military),” said Lt. Col. Timothy Wood, commander of the 751st CSS Battalion.
The last deployment for Newberry was in 2010 and before that it was in 2003, according to Wood. This is the third one in the last 10 years, he said.
While the soldiers are away, the family does have support they can turn to within the Guard.
There is a family readiness group and a support group at Newberry, Wood said, adding there is support on the local level all the way to the state level, he added.
“Gen. (Robert) Livingston (S.C.’s adjutant general) is a very strong support for groups and he wants to ensure there is a network of support,” said Wood. “The community support is outstanding and we appreciate all the support from everyone on behalf of the Battalion.”
The ceremony began with the formation of the 71 troops who also performed the furling the colors in which the the flags are wrapped and covered. Once the Battalion gets to the Middle East, they will unwrap the flag as this represents where the Battalion is from.
Livingston addressed the troops and their families.
“We are getting ready to send the best to do their business,” said Livingston. “When I think about the family and friends, they remind me of what makes this nation great. They are willing to give up what’s personal for them for something higher. They are willing to give up that economic earning potential and leave their families because their nation needs them today.
“Our soldiers and our family ask what can we do for others,” Livingston added. “(This Battalion) will support about 60,000 in Afghanistan and about 10,000 in central command.”
As for the families, Livingston know they are going to need much support.
“You are going to go though some trials and tribulations. This may be your second, third time. Even if it’s your first, every deployment is different. Our family support, our command group, we are here for you,” Livingston said to the families.
Mayor Foster Senn also addressed the troops and complimented them on their skills and professionalism.
“I heard Major Crosson say we are the hometown guard and I’m proud of that for you,” said Senn.
The 751st CSS Battalion was organized May 7, 1843, in the South Carolina Volunteer Militia as the Governor’s Guard in Columbia and attached to the 23rd Regiment for South Carolina Volunteer Militia. Throughout the years, the Battalion has gone through reorganizations and consolidations.
In April 1963, they were re designated as headquarters and headquarters detachment, 751st Ordinance Battalion and relieved from assignment to the 51st infantry division. In January 1968, they were re designated again.
In February 2003, they were deployed for federal duty in support of Operation Noble Eagle/Enduring Freedom and then in February 2009, they were deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and redeployed again in February 2010.