Story and Photos by
Sgt. Gaelen Lowers
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs
FORT SHAFTER — About 70 personnel from the 8th Human Resources Sustainment Center, 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, bid farewell to the command, their friends and family members at their deployment ceremony at Palm Circle, here, March 13.
The yearlong deployment to Kuwait is the 8th HRSC’s second deployment since its reorganization in September 2006.
The unit’s first deployment, however, was a milestone in Army history.
“The 8th HRSC was the first HRSC to stand up in the Army and deploy, which it successfully did in 2007, serving 14 months in Kuwait and demonstrating its unique ability to support the warfighter,” said Maj. Gen. Michael J. Terry, commander, 8th TSC.
An HRSC specializes in personnel accountability, casualty, postal functions and theater gateway at the theater-level.
With the upcoming presidential election, the HRSC and, more specifically, postal operations have their hands full.
“Speaking from the postal operations side of the HRSC, we have an exciting, yet challenging, job ahead of us,” said Sgt. Maj. Shannon Caviness, senior enlisted leader, Postal Operations Division, 8th HRSC.
“Our job is to make sure that every single person that is deployed is afforded the opportunity to vote,” Caviness said. “The challenge comes from the numerous post offices in Afghanistan and Kuwait. We are tasked with making sure that they are running smoothly so that all ballots are distributed out and returned back in a timely manner.”
The many responsibilities of the 8th HRSC extends to tracking all medical and casualty evacuations throughout the entire theater of operations, Caviness continued.
“We’re kind of like the referees for all human resources elements throughout theater,” she said. “We set the rules and make sure everyone is following them.”
The 8th HRSC is prepared for these challenges because of the training the unit has participated in, said Col. Lynn San Nicolas, director, 8th HRSC.
“Our technical training over the past nine months has fully prepared us to execute these missions and ensure continued human resources support to the units and Soldiers in the Central Command area of operations,” she said.
Terry agreed that the 8th HRSC was prepared for the mission and would execute exceptionally.
“8th HRSC, you depart for a tough mission in a tough place,” Terry concluded. “In everything you do, be it travel, work or rest, be safe. I am confident that you will ‘sustain and defend’ with honor.”