[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                        June 12, 2009
Mobilization

844th Task Force bids farewell

By Sgt. Roger Ashley, The Real McCoy Contributor

On May 25, Maj. Gen. Paul Hamm and Brig. Gen. Jeff Talley, stood to attention as 844th Task Force Soldiers passed by for a final review. It is the last inspection by higher command before they head to the Middle East.

Photo: Lt. Col. Adam Roth and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Sims, along with the 844th’s color guard, case the unit colors during a farewell ceremony. (Photo by Maj. Jesse Stalder)
Lt. Col. Adam Roth and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Sims, along with the 844th’s color guard, case the unit colors during a farewell ceremony. (Photo by Maj. Jesse Stalder)

Hamm is commander of the 412th Theater Engineer Command and Talley is commander of the 926th Engineer Brigade.

Engineer companies attached to the 844th include the 808th, the 961st, the 375th, the 655th Platoon and the 321st Engineer Detachment. Nearly 700 Soldiers from 34 states have deployed with the 844th as part of the nearly 90,000 Soldiers who have gone through Fort McCoy since 9-11. The 844th will execute engineer support operations in both Iraq and Kuwait.

Lt. Col. Adam Roth, the 844th’s Battalion Commander said, "This is a day of joy and sorrow. We answer our nation’s call to serve, but we leave a number of families, loved ones and employers to answer our nation’s call. Our motto says Earth to sky with a propeller in the middle. Back in 1942, the 844th was building airstrips for the B24s and B17s striking at the heart of Nazi Germany." Roth’s father was a bomber crewman during the war. "I like to think my father flew from one of the airstrips built by the 844th."

Photo: Lt. Col. Adam Roth salutes as the 844th does a final pass and review during its farewell ceremony at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Maj. Jesse Stalder)
Lt. Col. Adam Roth salutes as the 844th does a final pass and review during its farewell ceremony at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Maj. Jesse Stalder)

Roth felt McCoy was the ideal location to train, "I could think of no other place to train than here. This has been a homecoming for me. I deployed from here in 2003. This is Fort McCoy’s birthday year. I chose McCoy because it is a premiere training site for the Army Reserve. The opportunity to train combat lifesavers, the opportunity to do construction operations — train our plumbers, carpenters, electricians, our earth movers building roads, constructing buildings — all that coupled with our survey design team to do bases and tearing down old ones. McCoy has everything in the military system from vehicle to computer training. It’s all here. The technical training they received is superior. It is by far the best training I’ve ever seen. I can look at the Soldiers of 844th Battalion and say that they are ready."

Hamm said, "You are members who have been called up in defense of your country — our country. Your mission is tremendously important. You’ve been called away from civilian jobs, family, home life, churches and friends. You are now part of the 27,000 Army Reservists mobilized around the world and the 206,000 Army Reserve Soldiers who have been deployed in the Global War on Terror. You are America’s warriors. Your nation needs you and you unselfishly step forward to answer the call."

As the finale of the ceremony, Roth and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Sims cased the 844th’s colors. Roth said, "The colors are the lifeblood of our unit. We will be casing our colors until we safely arrive in the theater of operation."

(Ashley is a member of the 412th Engineer Command Public Affairs Office.)

 

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