Oklahoma detachment welcomed home from Iraq

Monday, January 3rd 2005, 5:50 am
By: News On 6

FORT SILL, Okla. (AP) _ 51 Army reserve members from a Miami, Okla.-based detachment were welcomed home Saturday during a New Year's Day ceremony at Fort Sill.

The reservists are members of the Headquarters Detachment, 319th Corps Support Battalion. Mobilized in November and December 2003, the group trained at Fort Sill for two months before deploying to Operation Iraqi Freedom in February 2004.

Once in Iraq, they were based about 35 miles north of Baghdad.

``We were the strategic logistics hub for all of Iraq,'' said Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Emmett Schuster.

The returning soldiers moved supplies along a 75-mile route in Iraq on a daily basis and regularly came under mortar attacks, said Fort Sill Chief of Staff Col. Mark McDonald.

``Iraq is closer to being turned over to Iraqi control because of their efforts,'' McDonald said. ``To my way of thinking, they're the most valuable players in our effort right now.''