FORT DRUM A yearlong deployment for the command group of the 10th Sustainment Brigade came to a close Wednesday, as the posts commander praised the support work done by the brigade while in theater.
Col. Kurt J. Ryan, the brigades commander, said the amount that the brigade accomplished was more remarkable because of overall soldier number reductions in the region and the closure of ground routes of transportation through Pakistan.
As a result, brigade soldiers were pressed into new routes to move goods through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan. and Kyrgyzstan. The changed routes required the redevelopment of Afghan infrastructure such as roads and railroads.
The gears for this brigade never stop, said Maj. Gen. Mark A. Milley, Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division commander.
Operating out of three separate locations, two in Afghanistan and one in Kuwait, that covered an area larger than the state of Arizona, the brigade was critical for supporting 30 task forces and six tactical missions, Gen. Milley said.
He said the brigades soldiers traveled about 250,000 miles during the year, delivering seven million tons of supplies and 294 million gallons of fuel, a figure he calculated would fill the tanks of every vehicle in the state of New York three times.
Gen. Milley also noted the high cost of the deployment: the brigade had six soldiers killed in action, and an additional 42 wounded.
While Wednesdays ceremony marked the end of a 12-month deployment for much of the brigade, about a dozen companies in the brigade are still in theater, totaling about 1,000 soldiers. That figure includes a pair of units, the 543rd Military Police Company, 91st MP Battalion, and the 693rd Engineer Company, 7th Engineer Battalion, that have either left for deployments or will do so in the next few days.
The full brigades next deployment is scheduled for early 2014. According to the brigade, it will be its fourth to Afghanistan and the fifth overall deployment since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.