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699th Maintenance Company returns home for Christmas

Dec 10, 2009

By Charles Melton (USAG Fort Irwin)

FORT IRWIN, Calif.- Catherine Harris and Melissa Trevino both waited almost a year for Thursday morning to arrive as their husbands, 1st Lt. Will Harris and Spc. Buddy Trevino along with 167 other soldiers from the 699th Maintenance Company returned home from a yearlong deployment to Iraq.

For Harris, who is a sergeant first class in the 916th Support Brigade, the morning brought a sense of relief and excitement knowing that her husband will home not only for Christmas, but hopefully their anniversary.

"This will be the first year we've been together on our anniversary in six years," Harris said, noting how there have been times when she and her husband have done battlefield hand-offs at the airport as both have been deployed in the past.

The hardest part of her husband's deployment was the lack of family, although there were other support networks in place, she said.

"He's my best friend. I missed him a lot," she said.

Their 5-year-old daughter, Taryn, said she missed her daddy during the time he was gone, but is looking forward to Saturday.

"I'm going to get my Christmas tree with my daddy," Taryn said.

Unlike Harris, who had been through multiple deployments, Trevino was glad to see her husband's first deployment finally come to an end.

"I'm ecstatic beyond words," she said. "Christmas came early for us this year."

With two children under 3-years-old, Trevino said she had her hands full for the past year, but made it through.

"We've got the first one behind us, so we know what to do," she said.

As he hugged his wife, his 2-1/2 year-old son, Caden, and 16-month-old daughter, Sophia, Spc. Trevino said he was glad to finally be home.

"This is what I've been looking forward to all year, and I'm glad to finally be home," he said.

Below are the highlights of the 699th's year in Iraq:

During its year in Iraq, the 699th was assigned to the 100th Brigade Support Battalion and provided a Logistical Training Advisory Team at Joint Base Balad as well as provided gun-truck security elements with the responsibilities of escorting the Iraqi Transportation Network (ITN) vehicles on Joint Base Balad.

In March, 699th Maintenance Company was then again reassigned to the 259th Combat Support Sustainment Battalion (CSSB) to conduct five year HET Trailer (M1000) Services supporting the 16th Sustainment Brigade (FOB SPEICHER) while sustaining all previously assigned missions.

The unit was also tasked to provide around the clock force protection for Joint Base Balad's Centralized Distribution Center (CDC), providing maintenance for the Small Arms Support Center, Small Arms Shop, the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle (MRAP), and Central Communications Command (CECOM).

On June 13, 259th CSSB conducted its Transfer of Authority to 80th Ordnance Battalion based out of Fort Lewis, Wash.

The 699th Maintenance Company was tasked to establish the theaters first Mobile Container Repair and Inspection Team(s) IOT support "Operation Responsible Withdrawal" supporting the 80th Ordnance Battalion, 90th Sustainment Brigade, and 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).

While assigned to the 80th Ordnance Battalion, the unit was once again tasked to provide personnel to establish the theaters first "Operation Clean Sweep" team consisting of officers, noncommissioned officers, and soldiers that enabled theater units the means of dispersing of excess theater property appropriately and effectively reducing the amount of excess equipment in Iraq.

699th Maintenance Company accomplished a milestone by establishing Joint Base Balad's first and only Convoy Maintenance Support Team (CMST) providing seamless maintenance to all in and out-bound convoys from different sectors of Iraq and Kuwait.

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