News: Historic mission completed by Puerto Rican Reserve
Story by Tulara McCauley
FORT BLISS, Texas – Approximately 125 Soldiers of 613th Military Police Company, 1st Mission Support Command, U.S. Army Reserve – Puerto Rico, arrived at the Silas L. Copeland Arrival/Departure Airfield Control Group, here, April 25.
The 613th MP Company was the first Puerto Rican company comprised entirely of internment/resettlement specialists to complete a detainee-operation mission in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The 613th MP Company originally had Soldiers with Military Police and I/R specialist military occupation specialties when it received orders to deploy. I/R specialists in the Army are primarily responsible for day-to-day operations in a military confinement/correctional facility or detention/internment facility. Before deploying, the company trained the MPs as I/R specialists.
Spc. Karim Rosado, from Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, was pleased to complete her second deployment.
“It’s an important mission that we were doing down there. I’m proud of the work we did,” said Rosado. “We had a lot of training for it but when we got down there we had to adapt and train as we went. It was easy mission work-wise, despite the 14-hour days, but it was tolling on the emotional side. We are proud of the job well-done.”
Spc. Edgard Rodriguez, from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, was also elated to return from his first deployment.
“I’m really happy to be back. I’m excited to go back home to kiss and hug my son, my wife and my family,” Rodriguez said. He was also proud of his company. “I believe we accomplished the mission as expected. We worked with the Navy, Air Force and Marines at the camp, and there was good cohesion between the different companies. We grew up as a company mentally.”
Col. Irene Zoppi, chief of staff, 1st MSC, Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, traveled from her home in Baltimore to Fort Bliss to greet and welcome the Soldiers back home on behalf of Brig. Gen. Jose Burgos, commanding general.
“(613th MP Company) leadership and camaraderie is the best,” said Zoppi. “I am very proud of the work they did. Kudos to them and welcome back.”
The Soldiers were especially looking forward to getting home after the demobilization process for a very good reason.
“We are happy to be going home in time for Mother's Day since our mission started precisely on Mother's Day last year,” said Rosado. “It will mean a lot to our mothers.”
Waiting patiently at home, Rosado’s 15-year-old son will get to see his mother too.
Date Posted:05.21.2014 18:44
Location:FORT BLISS, TX, US
Hometown:JUANA DIAZ, PR
Hometown:SAN JUAN, PR
Hometown:TRUJILLO ALTO, PR
Hometown:BRONX, NY, US