News: Senior Guard leader pays surprise visit to colleagues in Afghanistan
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – Command Sgt. Maj. Phillip M. Lederle, the 110th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade’s senior enlisted advisor, a native of Columbia, Mo., recently visited fellow Missouri National Guard soldiers of the 110th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade while preparing for his own deployment to Afghanistan.
While waiting for a flight out of Bagram Air Field, to join the Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team V, Lederle said he couldn’t resist the rare opportunity to visit with soldiers of the St. Louis-based 1138th Transportation Company, a subordinate unit of the 110th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.
The 1138th Transportation Company, headquartered at historic Jefferson Barracks, Mo., is on a year-long convoy operations mission, supporting the 142nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion from Fort Bliss Texas, throughout Afghanistan.
Lederle spoke to several members of the 1138th as they prepared their vehicles for an upcoming convoy mission. He shook each soldier’s hand and wished them well during the holiday season.
“Afghanistan is a very dangerous place and you can never be complacent,” Lederle said.
First Sgt. Robert Wendell, of Holt’s Summit, was pleased to see Lederle and was glad that many unit members had the opportunity to meet with him.
“This was a very unexpected visit and we were very pleased to see a senior leader from our home brigade here to wish us well,” Wendell said.
The 1138th Transportation Company is a medium truck company which arrived in Afghanistan in June. The unit specializes in providing direct commodity distribution and tactical escort for civilian truck convoys in the Regional Command East area of Afghanistan.
The Guard’s agribusiness development teams have been helping the Afghans develop a sustainable agriculture program for several years now. Lederle will deploy with Agribusiness Development Team VI in spring 2012.