Mission Accomplished: 143d ESC Comes Home
FORT HOOD, Texas – More than 150 Soldiers from the 143d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) set foot on American soil after more than nine months conducting sustainment operations throughout Southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Distinguished visitors such as Maj. Gen. Peter S. Lennon, commanding general of the 377th Theater Sustainment Command, and local celebrities like Elizabeth Laird, Fort Hood's “Hug Lady,” welcomed the troops as they disembarked an Omni International Boeing 777-200ER commercial jetliner and entered the military passenger terminal at Killeen/Fort Hood Regional Airport on that unusually cool May 14 morning.
During his welcome brief Lennon complimented on the 143d ESC's ability to overcome numerous challenges and complete a complex operation that required the coordination of dozens of units conducting various missions in Kuwait, Jordan, Qatar, Romania and Kyrgyzstan. He also expressed his gratitude for the cooperation that solidified between the unit's cross level Soldiers and those troops organic to the 143d ESC. Lennon concluded his speech by presenting nearly a dozen Soldiers with his unit's signature coin.
Later that day Soldiers from the 143d ESC's rear detachment in Orlando, Fla., hosted a Welcome Home Warrior Citizen Ceremony at South Fort Hood. The group presented their deployed counterparts with a “Welcome Home Warrior Citizen” coin, flag, lapel pins as well as an encased American flag.
The 143d ESC rear detachment will continue supporting their redeployed comrades as they complete the demobilization process at Fort Hood and return home to their friends and loved ones later this month.
The 143d ESC stands as the last command of its kind to deploy to a combat zone. It currently has command and control of more than 10,000 Soldiers hailing from 92 units across seven Southeast states.
Photos by Sgt. Peter B. Ross 210th MPAD, Staff Sgt. Ian Shay, 143d ESC, Sgt. John L. Carkeet IV, 143d ESC