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1st Theater Sustainment Command’s Blue Team deploys to Kuwait

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By BRENT THACKER

More than 20 members of 1st Theater Sustainment Command said goodbye to their families, friends, and unit team members May 31 at a deployment ceremony held in Sadowski Center at Fort Knox.

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Called the Blue Team, the Soldiers and Department of the Army civilians deployed to Kuwait a few days afterward, where they will assume the Strategic Operations and Plans (SOaP) mission.

Before the ceremony, attendees took photos with Cpl. Blackjack, a live pony mule that serves as the unit’s mascot. During the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Flem “Donnie” Walker Jr., commanding general of 1st TSC, explained the purpose of the SOaP team — to ensure they remain synchronized with current and future battlefield priorities in the U.S. Central Command footprint. He also encouraged them.

“I want to tell you how proud Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Willett and I are of this exceptional team,” Walker said.

Since 2006, 1st TSC has been perpetually deployed to a 20-country, six million square-mile area of responsibility, where it continuously conducts sustainment operations that ensure warfighters have the supplies and transportation capabilities they need to accomplish their missions.

Every six months, the command deploys a different team of Soldiers to the region: teams designated as Red, White or Blue. The Blue Team will replace the White Team, scheduled to redeploy sometime in June. The Red Team will begin training to replace the Blue Team in the coming months.

To prepare for this deployment, the Blue Team, led by Lt. Col. Barry Murray and Sgt. 1st Class Jason Matthews, completed 42 separate events, such as weapons qualification, medical readiness and threat briefings. The train up concluded with a culminating exercise that put the final changes on the Blue Team’s cohesion.

Walker praised the hard work and dedication of the team to prepare for the mission. He gave them some final guidance, as well, to ensure mission success.

“Stay focused, enforce standards,” he said, “and be disciplined.” n