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    Mission Complete; 42nd Infantry Division Wraps Up Task Force Spartan Mission

    Mission Complete; 42nd Infantry Division Wraps Up Task Force Spartan Mission

    Photo By Sgt. Trevor Cullen | Command Sgt. Maj. Corey Cush (left), senior enlisted leader for the 42nd Infantry...... read more read more



    Story by Maj. Jean Kratzer 

    Headquarters, 42nd Infantry Division

    FORT HOOD, Texas—More than 650 Soldiers from the 42nd Infantry Division are returning home after a nine-month deployment to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield.

    The division was responsible for leading U.S. Central Command's Task Force Spartan Shield.
    From March to November 2020, the task force commanded almost 10,000 U.S. Army Soldiers deployed to U.S. Army Central's operations area.

    Their mission helped to provide command and control in the Middle East while increasing military preparedness and capabilities and strengthening partnerships in the region.

    During an extremely volatile period marked by a significant increase in hostilities with regional adversaries, Task Force Spartan supported combat operations in Kuwait, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Lebanon and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    The task force deterred major regional aggression through the support of an armored brigade combat team (ABCT), theater engineer brigade (TEB), field artillery brigade (FAB), aviation task forces, and a theater explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) battalion.

    In addition to its combat support and deterrence mission, Task Force Spartan served as United States Army Central Command's main effort to protect joint forces during the coronavirus pandemic.

    "Looking back at the division's deployment, it's been a challenging and rewarding experience to be here during this historic period supporting the CENTCOM area of responsibly during a global pandemic," explained Maj. Gen. Steven Ferrari, 42nd Infantry Division Commanding General.

    "The mere fact that Task Force Spartan was able to operate in a COVID-19 degraded environment and maintain operational readiness across the command was a testament to the leadership of all our subordinate commands," added Ferrari.
    Amid increasing hostilities and pandemic constraints, the division Soldiers never faltered in their missions to protect and project combat forces.

    "Two weeks after arriving in theater, the global pandemic hit us, and our division became the Joint Operations Information Center (JOIC) for everything related to COVID-19 in eight different countries across the Middle East," explained Command Sgt. Maj. Corey Cush, 42nd Infantry Division, senior enlisted adviser.

    Cush also said that although this is something the division never trained for, every Soldier took ownership of the mission and performed magnificently.

    The division also conducted numerous training exercises, maintaining a lethal and ready force to deter regional aggression and strengthening relationships with U.S. allied forces and host nations. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the division maintained engagements with partner nations.

    The units supporting the task force routinely conducted multilateral and military-to-military exercises with partner nation forces in the region. These exercises varied from testing command-post capabilities to side-by-side maneuvers.

    "What made this mission great were simply the people," emphasized Ferrari. "The people we met and the relationships built will never be forgotten.

    The fact that such a diverse group across all Army components, services, agencies, international partners and civilians, all with multiple command relationships, can work as a team toward one common objective is a testament in itself, he stated.

    Ferrari also stressed to the Soldiers of Task Force Spartan, "know that your efforts and sacrifices are truly appreciated by these proud nations who we call our friends and partner nations. Let's hope these partnerships continue to be strong and flourish."

    Through these strong continually building partnerships and integrated military capabilities, the U.S. military and its regional partners will continue to be ready to act together quickly in times of crisis.

    Additional mission accomplishments by the Soldiers of the task force; the headquarters deployed a Mobile Command Post from Kuwait to Jordan in mere hours, showcasing the command's ability to command and control thousands of troops on the move.

    The ABCT rapidly loaded an M1A2 Abrams tank and multiple M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles to support troops in Syria onto a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster at Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait during a load out exercise.

    Finally, the Task Force Soldiers successfully conducted an exercise led by the FAB, which included loading a High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems onto a U.S. Air Force aircraft allowing them to be transported anywhere in the world.

    These exercises allowed U.S military elements to rapidly deploy anywhere in the CENTCOM area of responsibility in a matter of hours and showcasing the command's ability to command and control thousands of troops on the move.

    "The men and woman of Task Force Spartan performed like true leaders and professionals during their tour, and we are extremely proud of them," said Cush. "They represented our unit's, states and country with honor."

    In mid-November, the Rainbow Division will leave their mark in the area of responsibility after commanding ten subordinate commands during their nine months in-theater and overseen multiple training missions with partner nations.

    The 42nd Infantry Division will transfer command authority of Task Force Spartan to the Texas National Guard's 36th Infantry Division. By early winter, more than 650 Rainbow Division Soldiers will return home from deployment.

    Ferrari emphasized, "to all our families back at home and the Soldiers in the rear detachment, I want to thank you for the tremendous support over the last 10 months."

    "Just know that without your support and sacrifices, Soldiers would not be able to conduct their assigned responsibilities and stay focused on the mission at hand. Your overwhelming generosity and support was unbelievable," he concluded.



    Date Taken: 11.23.2020
    Date Posted: 11.25.2020 09:01
    Story ID: 383771

    Web Views: 653
    Downloads: 1