1945th CCT departs for Afghanistan mission

Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, addresses the four Soldiers of the 1945th Contingency Contracting Team at their departure ceremony Feb. 8, 2014, at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach. The four-Soldier team will travel to Camp Shelby, Miss., for premobilization training before they head to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The mobilization is scheduled for approximately 12 months. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, speaks addresses the four Soldiers of the 1945th Contingency Contracting Team at their departure ceremony Feb. 8, 2014, at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach. The four-Soldier team will travel to Camp Shelby, Miss., for premobilization training before they head to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The mobilization is scheduled for approximately 12 months. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

CAMP PENDLETON, Va. — Family members, friends, fellow Soldiers and Virginia Guard senior leaders bid a formal farewell to the Soldiers of the Virginia Beach-based 1945th Contingency Contracting Team, 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group, Feb. 8, 2014, at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach. The four-Soldier team will travel to Camp Shelby, Miss., for premobilization training before they head to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The mobilization is scheduled for approximately 12 months.

Virginia Sen. Jeffrey L. McWaters of the 8th District, Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis A. Green, the Virginia National Guard Senior Enlisted Leader, Col. Michelle Rose, commander of the 329th Regional Support Group, Lt. Col. Michael Waterman, commander of the 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, Lt. Col. Brent Carey, team leader of the 1940th CCT, and Capt. Bert Hankins, commander of the 1945th CCT, were among the speakers at the ceremony.

“I’m here today to represent the many who rely upon you for protection and safety, who turn to you in times of crisis,” McWaters said. “We want to say thank you and ask for your forgiveness for when we take you for granted.”

“When we call you a patriot a warrior or a hero, the words are not strong enough,” he added. “But it’s all we have in the English language to express the gratitude and admiration we have for the valor that you show us every day. Our prayers are with you and your family during this deployment.”

Capt. Bert Hankins, commander of the 1945th CCT, holds his daughters during the departure ceremony for the 1945th CCT, Feb. 8, 2014, at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach. While in Afghanistan, the officers and noncommissioned officers of the 1945th will provide forward contracting support to ongoing war zone and humanitarian missions. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Capt. Bert Hankins, commander of the 1945th CCT, holds his daughters during the departure ceremony for the 1945th CCT, Feb. 8, 2014, at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach. While in Afghanistan, the officers and noncommissioned officers of the 1945th will provide forward contracting support to ongoing war zone and humanitarian missions. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

“As you listen to people talk, you hear words like teamwork, sacrifice and patriotism,” Long said. “That’s what the National Guard is all about.”

While in Afghanistan, the officers and noncommissioned officers of the 1945th will provide forward contracting support to ongoing war zone and humanitarian missions. The mission of contingency contracting is to responsively, effectively, and legally contract for the supplies, services, and construction necessary to support the mission of the supported organizations.

Over the past year the four Soldiers spent countless hours away from their families in order to conduct training for their deployment. But in addition to the Army Warrior Tasks and other skills they were required to hone, they spent an equal amount of time training for different contracting scenarios and situations they may encounter, according to Hankins.

“I’m proud of what these Soldiers have accomplished in the short amount of time we’ve had to get prepared,” he said. “We’ve built a unit of trust, loyalty and camaraderie. I thank each of you for making this team better by bringing your personal values, skills and experiences.”

Rose explained to the audience that, because of their specialized skills, the team members will likely be working separately overseas. She offered the Soldiers advice on how to work together as a team and be combat multipliers while being far apart.
“As Col. Rose said, these guys have put in a lot of extra work and training for this deployment. Thanks to the families for the extra sacrifices they’ve made,” Waterman said. “They will definitely be an enhancement to the unit they will be working for.”

All the speakers in attendance thanked the Soldiers’ families for their support and commitment.

“You may not put your lives on the line every day in a uniform but you certainly make a huge personal sacrifice for your loved ones and we thank you too for your service to our country,” McWaters said.

“You wouldn’t be here without your families so make sure you communicate with them and keep those lines of communication open,” Rose said to the Soldiers of the 1945th.

“Thank you for the sacrifices you’ve made for these Soldiers,” Waterman reminded the family members. “We are here for anything you need while your Soldier is gone.”

The 1945th CCT is one of two contingency contracting teams in the Virginia National Guard. The 1940th CCT is also based in Virginia Beach.

The 1945th CCT obtained federal recognition July 21, 2009, and was originally based at Fort Pickett and aligned under Joint Force Headquarters. On Nov. 1, 2013, the 1945th was realigned under the 529th CSSB and the 329th RSG, based in Virginia Beach.

Virginia Sen. Jeffrey L. McWaters of the 8th District speaks with the families of deploying Soldiers at the departure ceremony for the 1945th CCT, Feb. 8, 2014, at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Virginia Sen. Jeffrey L. McWaters of the 8th District speaks with the families of deploying Soldiers at the departure ceremony for the 1945th CCT, Feb. 8, 2014, at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach. (Photo by Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)