By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Sustainment Brigade back home after nine-month deployment
Aaliah Smith jumps into the arms of her father, Sgt. Beau Smith
Aaliah Smith jumps into the arms of her father, Sgt. Beau Smith, upon his return from nine months of duty in eastern Europe. Photo by Pat Donahue.

Pat Donahue, Coastal Courier.

With balloons, posters – and eventually a sea of hugs – the 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade got its welcome home Wednesday morning at Fort Stewart’s Cottrell Field.

The brigade completed its nine-month deployment to eastern Europe as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, a show of force to deter further Russian aggression in the region.

As many before them had done, family members rushed from the stands to greet their soldiers after the order to dismiss was issued.

“It’s amazing,” said Lamar Moore, greeting his wife, Sgt. Maj. Deneva Moore, at Cottrell Field. The 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade was at the heart of Task Force Provider, which included Reserve and National Guard units.

“It was a tremendous mission,” said Col. Jennifer McDonough, the brigade commander, as the final 200 soldiers of her unit returned home. “The task force did many things. We did a lot of movement of equipment, all to support multi-national training throughout eastern Europe.”

Working in the European theater also allowed Sustainment Brigade soldiers training that is hard to do, even at Fort Stewart or at the National Training Center. They put their unique environment to use, conducting convoy live fires and using ranges with multi-national partners.

“There is no better place for a sustainer to train than eastern Europe right now,” she said. “If you look at just distribution alone, soldiers you saw on the field today covered four round trips to the moon and back. The amount of time soldiers spent doing distribution, doing sustainment all over eastern Europe is something we can’t replicate. Our sustainers are much more ready than from when before we left. The training experience has been absolutely phenomenal. I’m incredibly proud of the team.”

With Wednesday’s redeployment, the entire sustainment brigade is back at home, its mission in Europe now in the hands of the 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade. Division leaders hailed the brigade’s work on the European continent, supplying a wide range of units with a long list of material.

“I am so happy and honored to be here to welcome the Dogfaced Soldiers back home,” said Col. Jason Rosenstrauch, the 3rd Infantry Division chief of staff. “I want to say what a job well done. What you did in theater was amazing. To the families here, we could not do what we do without your love and support.”

Family members draped around Sgt. 1st Class Kenya Nesbit, who noted she had been in contact with them every day during the deployment.

But nothing compares to having them face-to-face, she acknowledged.

“I am super excited to be home today,” Nesbit said. “Nine long months away from my family. I am super excited to be here today. Just being away took a toll on me. But I’m glad to be here today, to see them, smiling and crying.”

Sgt. 1st Class Nesbit said the first order of business was reintegration and to get ready for the next mission – this time, without the cold of eastern Europe.

“The weather is nice,” she said. “I’m ready for Georgia.”

Col. Jennifer McDonough
Col. Jennifer McDonough leads soldiers from the 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade across Cottrell Field before being released to their loved ones. Photo by Pat Donahue.
Sign up for our E-Newsletters