Third ID Quartermaster Company Deploys - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/05/05

Third ID Quartermaster Company Deploys

One hundred twenty soldiers from the Third Infantry Division set out for Mosul, Iraq, from Hunter Army Airfield last night. There are a lot of people in the 473rd Quartermaster Company who haven't had a lot of experience yet, but they're optimistic about how they'll perform.

For a lot of these soldiers, the waiting is the worst part. "I'm trying to not think so much, because it's a bit overwhelming," said Pfc. Lissette Borland.

It's not the first time the 473rd has been deployed, but it's its first trip to Iraq. Soldiers say they're ready for whatever comes their way.

"Today's modern Army is changing every day, so we have to adjust training on a daily basis, based on intelligence, based on logistics," said Sgt. 1st Class Antonio Almaraz.

"Teamwork and depending on each other, making sure we have our back, is pretty much the most important factor," said Pfc. Borland.

When they get to Iraq, the quartermasters have several missions. They'll provide convoy security and stand guard at camps, and provide laundry and shower facilities to other soldiers, with specialized mobile equipment.

"We're pretty much on the move," said Sgt. 1st Class Almaraz. "We jump area to area, providing that support for them, since they don't have that capacity within the vicinity, so we go in."

Almaraz says just a simple shower can be a huge morale boost for people. "You're talking about an individual soldier who's out working 24-7. For them to stop and take a shower, that's a big relief."

Of course, being the company that provides laundry and showering to the rest of the Army has one big advantage. "Most definitely," Sgt. 1st Class Almaraz said. "We have that capacity, so we pretty much take a shower whenever we want."

These soldiers are all Third ID, but will mostly be working with the 101st Airborne Division when they get to Forward Operating Base Diamondback in Mosul.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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