07 August 2009

23rd MP Company Soldiers deploy to Iraq

Via Ft Drum Mountaineer

Capt. Nirav B. Patel, left, 23rd Military Police Company commander, and 1st Sgt. Timothy Watts case the unit's colors during a deployment ceremony Friday at Magrath Sports Center. Photo by Glenn Wagner

Family and friends gave more than 200 Fort Drum Soldiers a proper send-off last week as they prepare to deploy to Iraq.

The 23rd Military Police Company held a deployment ceremony Friday in Magrath Sports Center in preparation for a tour of duty that will see the North Country’s finest conduct detainee operations in Iraq.

“We are ready and we are trained to do what is asked of us,” said Pfc. Chase Bauer, Headquarters Platoon, 23rd MP Company, about his first deployment. “I am a little nervous, but hopefully we will all come back safe to our Families. Our leaders have prepared us, and now all we have to do is our job.”

The company’s mission will be to assist and train Iraqi police on how to process, transport and care for incarcerated individuals.

Wishing them a safe deployment is a leader the Soldiers know well.

“It has been interesting, sometimes challenging, watching this unit develop over time,” said Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Nelden, 91st Military Police Battalion commander.
“The shortage of officers and senior noncommissioned officers during their buildup did not stop this unit from doing what had to be done.

“This will be a challenging mission, but one the unit has specifically trained for,” he added. “You are trained and ready for this deployment.”

The company’s leader joined in reassuring Families that their Soldiers are trained and prepared for the mission at hand and thanking the Family Members for their support.

“Together, we will be successful in any mission assigned to us during our deployment,” said Capt. Nirav B. Patel, 23rd MP Company commander. “While the Soldiers put countless hours into training for deployment, their spouses and significant others stood by the unit and their Soldier, providing superb support. Without the support of the Family Members, the unit could not be as successful as it is today.

“I thank all the Family Members for their continued support and dedication to the unit,” he added.

After the ceremony, Soldiers were released to be with Families and friends. Before leaving, they talked about how they can’t wait to come home.

“We are trained and prepared for what lies ahead,” said Spec. Bradley Muse, 3rd Platoon. “I am a little nervous, but once we get there and start doing our job, we will be fine. We are well-trained to accomplish our mission and come home to our Families.”

The unit relocated from Fort Bragg, N.C., to Fort Drum after its last deployment to Iraq in 2008. Seventeen Soldiers moved from Fort Bragg in May 2008 to re-establish the unit at Fort Drum.

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