302nd Transportation Terminal Battalion Deploys 64 Soldiers In Support Of Operation Spartan Shield

Story by CPT Linda Gerron on 06/19/2018
The 302nd Transportation Terminal Battalion, 9th Mission Support Command, held a deployment ceremony Saturday, June 16, at Fort Shafter, Hawaii for 64 Soldiers assigned to 2nd Detachment, 962nd Quartermaster (Mortuary Affairs) Company to honor their mobilization in support of Operation Spartan Shield.

The Reserve detachment will provide theater mortuary support for U.S. military, civilian, and allied personnel within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility during a six-month rotational deployment.

Lt. Col. Gregory A. Richards, the 302nd TTB commander, said the 962nd QM has been rigorously training and preparing for this mission for over 12 months focusing on the tasks of recovering, receiving, securing, and the evacuation process of deceased personnel.

According to Capt. Ruth T. Fa'atiga, the 962nd QM commander, it takes a very special kind of Soldier to accomplish these tasks.

"The dignified mission of retrieving and reuniting our fallen heroes with their loved ones is a challenging mission," she said. "However, our Soldiers are well prepared and trained for it. They know their job and they do it well."

The 962nd QM has Soldiers throughout the Pacific to include Hawaii, Alaska, American Samoa, and Guam. The unit traces its lineage back to 1923 when the original Bakery Company, Number 632, was formed in Norfolk, Virginia. Over the years, the company has been reorganized and restructured multiple times in order to remain a relevant and ready Reserve force, adopting its current 962nd Quartermaster Company designation in 2008.

"This is a historic event for the 962nd," Fa'atiga said. "This deployment is a first for the company, which makes me extremely proud of our Soldiers for their courage and selfless service. They are the right 64 for this mission. They are ready and now it's time to put into action everything they've learned and have been training for."

The 2nd Detachment will replace the company's 1st Detachment in Kuwait and will be assigned to the 1st Theater Support Command. The 1st Detachment is slated to redeploy next month and the 2nd Detachment is expected to return home in the winter of 2018.

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