Lt. Col. Royce A. Edington, commander of the 88th BSB, thanked Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk commander Brig. Gen. Clarence K.K. Chinn, Garrison Commander Col. Francis Burns, Soldiers and Family members for attending the ceremony and said the 41st Trans Co will add tremendous support to the 1st MEB.
“With its 60 palletized loading system trucks and trailers, the 41st Transportation provides the brigade the ability to self deploy quickly and the robust depth to sustain operations through logistics distribution once we are on-site,” he said. “These trucks and the Soldiers will be critical in the execution of the 1st MEB’s mission.”
The 41st Trans Co has served in the Global War on Terrorism by deploying to Iraq in 2003, 2005 and 2007. The unit also deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 where it supported the 10th Mountain Division and 4th Aviation Brigade during the Afghanistan surge from March through June of 2010. Throughout its deployment, the unit completed 150 missions and delivered wheeled vehicles to other units, moving more than 13,000 tons of cargo and driving more than 170,000 miles.
“The brave Soldiers who have served in this great company have driven hundreds of thousands of miles across challenging terrain — desert, urban areas and mountains; against a determined enemy who continuously tried to stop them with small arms, rocket propelled grenades, and numerous types of improvised explosive devices,” Edington said. “And despite all these challenges, the 41st Trans continued to carry on.”
During the ceremony, Capt. Lonnie Humphrey, commander, 41st Trans Co, and 1st Sgt. Robert R. Dodd Jr., uncased the company’s colors.
Humphrey said his company has worked hard for this day and will have a positive influence on transportation services for this installation and others.
“It’s going to make a tremendous impact for Fort Polk,” he said. “We’re going to provide more transportation services for palletizing and connex missions, materials in support of rotational missions and external missions for other installations.”
The company’s relocation to Fort Polk began back in August 2010. According to Edington, it takes about 180 days for a new unit to be incorporated into 1st MEB.
“We will start training them on the types of missions we do here, which are a little bit different from what they were doing in Germany,” he said. “That’s obviously going take some time, but we’re Soldiers and we’re trained to adapt to different situations.”
The 41st Soldiers and Family members will add an additional 500 people to Fort Polk’s 28,000 population currently residing on the installation and in the surrounding community. The addition of these families contributes to the economic impact JRTC and Fort Polk has on the surrounding area.
Along with the more than 5,000 Soldiers who participate in monthly JRTC rotations and the 6,500 employed civilians and government contractors, these families will contribute to the more than $1.6 billion Fort Polk generates annually for the state of Louisiana.
At the end of the ceremony, Edington expressed his appreciation for having the 41st Trans Co on his team and said he looks forward to watching them execute their missions.
“Today, these Soldiers represent all of the Soldiers who have proudly served in the unit’s rank — from the beginning in Berkeley, Calif., in 1936 until now,” he said.
“This is a great company that is going to continue to do great things for the Army.”