Ohana welcomes 57th MPs home

| July 9, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photo by
Pfc. Marcus Fichtl
8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command

Pfc. Ryan Murto gives his six-month-old daughter a hug as his wife, Chelsea, looks on. Murto is part of the 57th Military Police Company, 728th MP Battalion, 8th MP Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command that just returned to Wheeler Army Airfield from Operation New Dawn, July 3. WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — Independence Day weekend marks an especially joyous time for service members and their families, but while most people in Hawaii were sleeping off early celebrations, some friends and family members were wide awake and waiting to welcome their loved ones home. 

Soldiers of the of the 57th Military Police Company, 728th MP Battalion, 8th MP Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, returned from their yearlong deployment to Iraq, at 2 a.m., Saturday, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, before being transported to Wheeler Gulch, here.

“The 57th’s mission was to ensure fair and safe elections and to allow the Iraqis to take a decisive lead in controlling their own security,” said Capt. Patricia Saling, commander, 57th MP Co.

Only a chain-link fence adorned, with banners from redeployments past, stood between the Soldiers of the 57th MP Co. and their loved ones, and after some words from leadership and commendations of a job well done, the Soldiers were ordered to fall out of formation and greet their loved ones.

Friends and families hugged and kissed, while some fathers and mothers met new family members for the first time. For Pfc. Ryan Murto and his daughter, it was a reunion six months in the making. 

“This is the best part of the deployment – coming back,” Murto said.

While deployed in the southern Maysan province of Iraq, the company was divided between two forward operating bases, with the bulk of the forces at FOB Garry Owen and the second platoon stationed at FOB Hunter. The 57th helped ensure political rivalries could coexist peacefully in Iraq.

“The Iraqi Police were fully in the lead, we were there to assist,” Saling said, referencing the shift from police training to police advising during the deployment. “After June 30, 2009, we had to receive permission from our Iraqi counterparts (for some mission requirements).”

As the landscape of the U.S. mission in Iraq began to change, Murto was able to come home and witness a major change in his family’s landscape as his wife, Chelsea, gave birth to a baby girl.

However, his visit to Hawaii was brief because he still had a mission to complete downrange.

“We had to prepare for the upcoming elections,” Murto said.

“The elections went on without a single incident in the Maysan province,” Saling said. “We were pretty proud of the security our Iraqi partners provided.”

According to Saling, the years of training and more recently of advising are finally paying off for the Iraqi police, as Iraqis were arresting high-value targets independently of the U.S. military – from the planning, to the capture, to prosecution.

“We could take no credit in these arrests, and we’re pretty proud of that,” Saling said. “However, the capstone of our deployment was preparing the Iraqi security for the elections in March.”

For new mom Chelsea, her capstone was preparing for Murto’s homecoming.

“It was rough the last few months,” she said. “We communicated via video messenger, and he was able to see our daughter since he left after her birth, but I still wanted everything to be perfect for when he returned.” 

Unlike most brigades, there’s no rest from deployments or missions for the 8th MP Bde. because, as one company comes home, another company gets ready to leave. The 552nd MP Co. is set to deploy to Afghanistan soon.

Story and Photo byPfc. Marcus Fichtl 8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs8th Theater Sustainment CommandWHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — Independence Day weekend marks an especially joyous time for service members and their families, but while most people in Hawaii were sleeping off early celebrations, some friends and family members were wide awake and waiting to welcome their loved ones home. Soldiers of the of the 57th Military Police Company, 728th MP Battalion, 8th MP Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, returned from their yearlong deployment to Iraq, at 2 a.m., Saturday, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, before being transported to Wheeler Gulch, here.“The 57th’s mission was to ensure fair and safe elections and to allow the Iraqis to take a decisive lead in controlling their own security,” said Capt. Patricia Saling, commander, 57th MP Co.Only a chain-link fence adorned, with banners from redeployments past, stood between the Soldiers of the 57th MP Co. and their loved ones, and after some words from leadership and commendations of a job well done, the Soldiers were ordered to fall out of formation and greet their loved ones.Friends and families hugged and kissed, while some fathers and mothers met new family members for the first time. For Pfc. Ryan Murto and his daughter, it was a reunion six months in the making. “This is the best part of the deployment – coming back,” Murto said.While deployed in the southern Maysan province of Iraq, the company was divided between two forward operating bases, with the bulk of the forces at FOB Garry Owen and the second platoon stationed at FOB Hunter. The 57th helped ensure political rivalries could coexist peacefully in Iraq.“The Iraqi Police were fully in the lead, we were there to assist,” Saling said, referencing the shift from police training to police advising during the deployment. “After June 30, 2009, we had to receive permission from our Iraqi counterparts (for some mission requirements).”As the landscape of the U.S. mission in Iraq began to change, Murto was able to come home and witness a major change in his family’s landscape as his wife, Chelsea, gave birth to a baby girl.However, his visit to Hawaii was brief because he still had a mission to complete downrange.“We had to prepare for the upcoming elections,” Murto said.“The elections went on without a single incident in the Maysan province,” Saling said. “We were pretty proud of the security our Iraqi partners provided.”According to Saling, the years of training and more recently of advising are finally paying off for the Iraqi police, as Iraqis were arresting high-value targets independently of the U.S. military – from the planning, to the capture, to prosecution.“We could take no credit in these arrests, and we’re pretty proud of that,” Saling said. “However, the capstone of our deployment was preparing the Iraqi security for the elections in March.”For new mom Chelsea, her capstone was preparing for Murto’s homecoming.“It was rough the last few months,” she said. “We communicated via video messenger, and he was able to see our daughter since he left after her birth, but I still wanted everything to be perfect for when he returned.” Unlike most brigades, there’s no rest from deployments or missions for the 8th MP Bde. because, as one company comes home, another company gets ready to leave. The 552nd MP Co. is set to deploy to Afghanistan soon.

Category: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *