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NEWS | June 4, 2020

Chicago-based Soldiers Return from Duty in Middle East


Approximately 45 Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers, mostly from the Chicago area, returned home in May.  The Soldiers served nearly 10 months in the Middle East. 

Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 108th Sustainment Brigade in Chicago mobilized in mid-July 2019 in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.  The team deployed to the Middle East to provide logistic and maintenance support to coalition forces in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility. 

The 108th‘s Task Force Lincoln, Team Blackhawks, provided logistics training and support to the Iraqi Army.  The goal was to develop the Iraqi military’s logistics capability through training, tracking, forecasting and execution. 

The 108th increased Iraqi Army capability in tracking, forecasting and budgeting repair parts for vehicles.  They worked with the First Iraqi Army Engineer Depot to rebuild engines and also increased the Iraqi Army’s ability to track real-time transactions and improved the Iraqi Army’s capabilities coordinating and transporting internal supplies using Iraqi resources. 

Col. Jerry Newman of Oregon, Illinois, 108th Commander, said the unit accomplished a lot while deployed to central Iraq.

“The greatest accomplishments for the 108th was the unit’s success building long-lasting relationships with our Iraqi Army counterparts, which enabled us to enhance their strategic and tactical logistic and maintenance processes throughout the Iraqi Army,” Newman said.

The 108th Commander said COVID-19 was also a challenge for Task Force Lincoln, as well as their Iraqi Army counterparts.  He said they implemented preventative measures to minimize the negative effects of the virus. 

“One of the things I am most proud of is the resiliency, determination, and will to execute our mission with our Iraqi partners,” Newman said. “We can return home knowing the Iraqi Sustainment community has the leadership and competency to execute their sustainment system across the region.”


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