News: Stillwater Army Reserve unit headed for Afghanistan
Story by Cpl. Jeff Shackelford
STILLWATER, Okla. – Twenty soldiers of the U.S. Army Reserve 327th Transportation Detachment were honored during a farewell ceremony on Jan. 25, 2014, at Lessor’s Lodge, Elks Lodge No. 1859, in Stillwater.
Family members, friends and community supporters gathered in the Stillwater Elks Lodge banquet hall to see their soldiers off as they depart on a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
During their mobilization, the 327th, part of the 4th Sustainment Command, the 90th Sustainment Brigade and the 316th Quartermaster Battalion, will replace the 494th Transportation Detachment in providing transportation support while tracking the movement of personnel, containers, vehicles and materials in and out of Afghanistan.
“We will support airlift operations, convoy operations and the contracting and organization of movement requests,” said Capt. Charles Clark, 327th’s commander. “When a unit or organization wants to move some equipment, we will either allocate or track the assets coming in or out of the base and keep track of that movement until it reaches its destination.”
Clark added that tracking what comes and goes and where the movement or equipment is at all times provides in-transit visibility, which allows for better planning in support of the battlefield.
Though this is the unit’s first deployment since its organization in 2008, Clark, who deployed from 2010 to 2011, says 327th is ready.
“We have a few senior noncommissioned officers that have deployed, and they have been mentoring our younger soldiers that are a little less seasoned,” said Clark. “We are ready because we have that mentoring system in place.”
Sgt. Seth Duckworth, platoon leader assigned to the 327th, who has served more than six years in the military, says he shares Clark’s sureness in the unit.
“I think we have a great group of soldiers, I am confident in everyone’s ability to do their job,” said Duckworth. “We have all worked together for several years; we are a strong group.”
With the completion of their deployment ceremony, the 327th Transportation Detachment is off to Texas for 30 days of mobilization training before deploying to Afghanistan in support of OEF.