333rd MP Bde. departs for Afghanistan after fulfilling experience at Bliss
DoMaD Public Affairs:
Approximately 110 Soldiers from the 333rd Military Police Brigade departed from the Arrival/Departure Airfield Control Group at Biggs Army Airfield the evening of Oct. 9 for Afghanistan to assume command and control of a detention facility.
The Army Reservists, based out of New York, arrived to El Paso Aug. 25. Brig. Gen. Phillip Churn, brigade commander, said he had a “great experience” at Fort Bliss. Considering he has Soldiers from all over the country, he said the time spent here was the first opportunity for the unit to come together to train as a team in a field environment.
Churn and brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew Lombardo gave credit to the combined efforts of the Directorate of Mobilization and Deployment, 5th Armored Bde., and the 402nd Field Artillery Bde.
Lombardo spoke of the progression of the unit during training: “It developed as time went along and what is nice is [the training brigades] put a program together that allows a fresh unit to develop and come out of here as a team.”
Lombardo also acknowledged the efforts to improve the quality of life of the Soldiers during their training.
“I would like to give a big hand to the community of El Paso and Fort Bliss. … They really open their hearts to us, and the facilities are great. They make sure the morale is kept up by running morale events, so they’ve been really helpful.”
“Command Sergeant Major Lombardo is right,” Churn said. “The community really opened up to us. The 402nd, 75th Troop Command, First Army and DoMaD have great individuals and great Americans.”
The morale events the command team is referring to were the presidential visit and an organization day at Biggs Park. On Oct. 7, the brigade began the day with a five-mile run/ruck/walk in El Paso’s McKelligon Canyon. Following that event was a cookout at the park, competitive events and even karaoke.
“Organization day was a good morale-building event and a good way to build esprit de corps after the required training,” said Lombardo. “The highlight [of their time at Fort Bliss] was validating and making sure we were ready to deploy. The organization day was good for the Soldiers.”
Lombardo, a long-time military police Soldier and a member of the New York Police Department, continued with his gratitude for the services offered at Fort Bliss: “I really appreciate that many of our mobilizing units come through here, which include five battalions and 15 companies. We’ve received consistent support from the DoMaD and supporting units. We really appreciate this as a mobilizing platform for our Reserve units.”
Churn turned his appreciation to the ones left behind: “I want to say thanks to the families and the employers for their support of their loved ones who came to take care of this very important mission to our country.”
Both Churn and Lombardo agreed that the primary mission is the ultimate focus of this deployment, but they charge their Soldiers to create and achieve individual goals as well. They encourage their Soldiers to strive at enhancing their education, physical fitness and spiritual well-being; however, Lombardo emphasizes that the “primary goal is to be successful at our mission and return with honor.”
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