News: SD Guard contracting team activates for deployment
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Theanne Tangen
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Family, friends and co-workers joined together at Camp Rapid for an activation ceremony for four soldiers of the South Dakota Army National Guard’s 1978th Contingency Contracting team Wednesday, Nov. 28.
Maj. Matthew Symonds, Capt. Paula Moore, Sgt. 1st Class Jack Hahne and Staff Sgt. Amanda Galdo will deploy for a nine-month tour to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The Rapid City-based 1978th will plan for and coordinate all contracting functions at a brigade or combat team level.
“We work with contracts that deal with anything from purchasing food to construction projects,” said Maj. Matthew Symonds, 1978th commander. “We are here to make sure the military is a good steward of our taxpayers' money.”
The unit will be responsible for assisting with the development and administration of contracting support plans, policy and appendices in support of operational, contingency and deliberate plans associated within an area of responsibility.
“We’re very excited about the opportunity to apply what we’ve learned in the past four years,” said Symonds. “The South Dakota National Guard has trained us well and has instilled confidence in us to accomplish our mission.”
Maj. Gen. Tim Reisch, the adjutant general of the SDNG, addressed the audience during the activation ceremony.
“Even though this is a small unit, they are a big deal,” said Reisch. “We have four members who will be split up into four different areas overseas. Their function is critical in the operations overseas. Without them everything would come to a halt.”
The South Dakota National Guard has a rich history of deploying service members in time of need.
“The South Dakota National Guard has been sending people out the door to do missions the state and nation has needed for more than 150 years,” said Reisch. “We have a developed a tremendous legacy over that century and a half. There is no question in my mind that this unit will continue to enhance the legacy of the SDNG.”
The unit will report to Camp Shelby, Miss., to complete several weeks of theater-specific training prior to deployment overseas. This is the first mobilization for the 1978th.