71st Chem. Co. returns from first deployment

| July 17, 2015 | 0 Comments
Families and friends cheer as Soldiers from the 71st Chemical Company march into the open bay at Wheeler Gulch during a redeployment ceremony, July 8, at Wheeler Army Airfield. The company returned after a nine-month deployment to Kuwait. (Photo has been altered from its original form; background elements have been removed.)

Families and friends cheer as Soldiers from the 71st Chemical Company march into the open bay at Wheeler Gulch during a redeployment ceremony, July 8, at Wheeler Army Airfield. The company returned after a nine-month deployment to Kuwait.

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Taresha Hill
8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs
8th Theater Sustainment Command

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — Soldiers from the 71st Chemical Company, 303rd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, were greeted by families and friends during a redeployment ceremony held, here, July 8.

Last October, for the first time in its history, the 71st deployed to Kuwait, where it provided Central Command with expert chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training and support.

Despite four previous deployments, Sgt. 1st Class Kelly Ellerbe, platoon sergeant, said that this deployment was different for him because it was his first time deploying as a CBRN company.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better group of Soldiers to deploy with,” said Ellerbe.

Sgt. Chad Rings, a noncommissioned officer with the 71st Chemical Company, holds his newborn son, Luke, for the first time during a redeployment ceremony, July 8, at Wheeler Army Airfield. Rings spent nine months in Kuwait with his company to support Central Command with various chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear missions.

Sgt. Chad Rings, a noncommissioned officer with the 71st Chemical Company, holds his newborn son, Luke, for the first time during a redeployment ceremony, July 8, at Wheeler Army Airfield. Rings spent nine months in Kuwait with his company to support Central Command with various chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear missions.

In preparation for the deployment, the company spent several months conducting various field training exercises and certified its troops in two technical skills: site surveying and sampling procedures.

“They were prepared,” said Capt. Craig Brown, company commander. “We did copious amounts of training prior to leaving.”

During the nine-month deployment, the chemical Soldiers put their skills and knowledge to the test as they conducted CBRN dismounted reconnaissance training and mass casualty operational support exercises with the Kuwait National Guard.

Additionally, the 71st also supported Kazakhstan military forces with CBRN subject matter experts and information exchanges during their joint training exercises.

The 71st Chemical Company enters the  hangar after nine months downrange.

The 71st Chemical Company enters the hangar after nine months downrange.

Brown commended his Soldiers, and said that despite the extreme heat and long hours, his troops executed every mission that was asked of them.

Brown said, “It was a successful deployment all around.”

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Category: Deployed Forces, News

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