News: 18th Military Police soldiers receive warm welcome home in Sembach
Story by Staff Sgt. Christina Turnipseed
SEMBACH, Germany - Laughter, tears, hugs and squeals filled the Sembach Fitness Center as Family members welcomed home soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company 18th Military Police Brigade during a redeployment ceremony Feb. 3.
“I waited a long time for him to come home,” said Julia HabizReuther, native of Regensburg, Germany and wife of Capt. Todd HabizReuther, chief of operations. “I am so happy to have him back.”
The 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s HHC, 18th Military Police Brigade, returned to Sembach Kaserne after completing an eight-month deployment to Camp Sabalu-Harrison, Afghanistan, in support of Joint Task Force 435.
According to Maj. Steven Bartley, operations officer in charge and native of Fredonia, N.Y., the overall mission “was to train, assist and advise our Afghan counterparts in detention operations, security forces development, anti-terrorism and force protection. Basically, [it was] the entire spectrum in order to bring their forces up to a level where they had the capability and capacity to execute the mission on their own.”
As their deployment comes to an end and they reintegrate with their families, 18th MP Bde. soldiers expressed a sense of pride in their accomplishments. Bartley elaborated on two of the brigade’s biggest achievements.
“We instituted a custody system where we evaluated each detainee as an individual reducing the number of violent incidents and substantially increasing detainee moral,” he said. “We also began the retrograde of American troops from the area and reduced the confinement facility footprint for better control preparing for the closeout of the mission there.”
Col. Zane Jones, the 18th MP Bde. commander and native of Prattville, Ala., expressed pride in his soldiers’ performance, the mission as a whole and the fact that he was able to bring every soldier back to their families.
“It feels great to bring everyone back,” he said. “They did a remarkable job. It was a phenomenal mission, and they excelled every single day.”