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NAVELSF Forward BRAVO Members Return Home From Iraq, Kuwait

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050124-07
Release Date: 1/24/2005 2:52:00 PM

By Journalist Seaman Riza Wenthe, Naval Media Center Fleet Support Detachment Norfolk

NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Nearly 100 Navy Reservists returned to Naval Station Norfolk Jan. 22, completing a five-month deployment to Iraq and Kuwait.

Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Force (NAVELSF) Forward BRAVO was mobilized in July 2004, handling fuel, supply and postal operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Rear Adm. Hank Tomlin, who took command of NAVELSF in September after Forward BRAVO deployed to Iraq and Kuwait, said he is proud to be associated with such dedicated Navy Reservists.

"Our Navy Cargo Handlers are trained and ready to support the joint warfighter in any contingency environment on short notice," Tomlin said. "I am extremely proud of them, and grateful to them and their families for the sacrifice they have given."

Their fuels component provided fuel support to coalition forces and was based in several locations in Iraq. They relieved NAVELSF Forward ALPHA in September.

NAVELSF postal operations component provided mail services to and for Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines from several locations throughout Kuwait.

Forward BRAVO Fuels Component Officer in Charge, Lt. Cmdr. Greg Carr, said the company was eager to work and morale was high throughout the entire deployment.

"We took over an existing fuel facility at one of the locations, doubled the amount of fuel that pushed through that facility, doubled the number of trucks that were handled, so exceptional performance there," Carr said. "Morale started out high and remained high to the end."

Families were anxious to greet their loved ones and get them acclimated to home life again.

Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Willie Palmer was eager to cook a good meal for his wife, Ship's Serviceman 3rd Class Katrina Palmer.

"She wouldn't tell me much about the food she ate, but I know she'll like the rib-eye steak, baked potato and salad waiting at home for her."

Carr also had a special gift waiting for him. While he was flying back to Norfolk, his wife gave birth to their third son. He learned of the new addition to his family after arriving here.

"It's a little overwhelming," Carr said. "I was hoping we could make it home [before the birth], but we were a few hours short. I'm looking forward to going to see my new baby boy."

Tomlin added, "The awesome job that these Sailors performed is a testament to the quality of our Navy Reservists. They stepped up to the plate when their country called upon them, went into harm's way to provide vital combat support services, and did so with honor and distinction."

NAVELSF represents more than 90 percent of the Navy's overseas shore-based supply and transportation capability, with 12 Navy Cargo Handling Battalions, two Supply Support Battalions and more than 4,000 Naval Reserve personnel.

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