2 weeks down, 5 to go. Week two seemed to be a bit easier and less stressful. I think I am finally comfortable in the uniform and with the training we are doing. It took a little while but it is beginning to feel normal.
Yesterday I finally talked to someone with answers at Ft. Campbell. I called the Deputy Division Chaplain (who will be one of my many bosses) and we spoke briefly. He gave me my unit assignment. Drum roll please............. I will be the Chaplain for the Support Battalion in the 4th Brigade Combat Team. I am sure many of you need that explained. So here's my attempt.
A few years back the Army decided it restructure itself. Instead of sending entire divisions (like the 101st Airborne Division) to combat, which would be tens of thousands of soldiers, they came up with the idea to make a brigade (which is one level lower than a division) a self sustaining unit which could be deployed on its own. So the higher brass restructured the Army around this brigade model. They call the Brigades "BCT" = Brigade Combat Teams.
At the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) there are 4 normal BCTs and there are 2 Aviation BCTs. I have been assigned to the 4th BCT.
Within every BCT there are 6 Battalions. There are 2 Infantry Battalions which are really the heart of the unit. The other 4 Battalions are essentially in a support role to those infantry guys. They are made up of an Artillery Battalion, a Special Troops Battalion, an Aviation Battalion, and a Support Battalion.
That Support Battalion is now mine! Their official name is 801st Brigade Support Battalion.
The mission of my Battalion is to rapidly deploy by land, sea or air and provide integrated combat service and health support to elements of the 4th Brigade Combat Team. The 3 essential elements of the Battalion include a supply company, a medical company, and a maintenance company. My soldiers provide everything that is needed to make sure the guys in the fight have everything they need.
Now what does this mean for Christina and I in terms of deployment? The 4th BCT has been deployed twice. First to Iraq from Nov 05 to Nov 06 and the second deployment was to Afghanistan from Mar 08 to Mar 09. I will arrive in September which means they will have been back for about 5 months. As of right now there is no public announcement of the next future deployment for the 4th BCT but from what I have heard we will most likely deploy in late 2010.
That's the latest update. I hope you are all doing well. I am going to enjoy a nice weekend off and I hope you do the same.