Soldiers assigned to the 143rd CSSB board a plane leaving Connecticut for a mission in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

Nearly 70 Soldiers of the 143rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion say goodbye to their families, friends and Connecticut National Guard leadership as they board a plane on the flightline adjacent to the Windsor Locks Readiness Center, Windsor Locks, Connecticut, Nov. 12. The departure completed the first leg of their journey, first stopping at Fort Hood, Texas, to conduct further training. Following the completion of their mobilization training, the CSSB will travel to Eastern Europe where they will be responsible for subordinate units totaling 850 Service Members from all three Army components. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Richard Wrigley, Joint Force Headquarters Public Affairs, CTARNG)

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. – On a bright, sunny Sunday, less than 24 hours removed from Veterans Day, 70 Soldiers assigned to the 143rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion boarded a plane to complete the first leg of their journey prior to deployment to Eastern Europe.

Over 150 family members gathered at the Windsor Locks Readiness Center to wish their deploying family members and friends well as the Waterbury-based unit prepared to provide logistics support in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

“It’s always tough to leave your family behind,” said Lt. Col. William Daugherty, Battalion Commander. “There’s a lot of uncertainty. This is a professional group of Soldiers, many with a previous deployment under their belts. The support network is there on both sides of the pond.”

At a sendoff ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 8, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and other state officials expressed their pride in the important work the unit will conduct overseas, and that their loved ones should be proud.

“I’m extremely proud of these men and women,” Daugherty said. “They know how important every mission is, and each and every one of them is ready to head out and serve their nation.”

Prior to deploying to Europe, the unit must first head to Fort Hood, Texas, where it will conduct further training. Once overseas, the CSSB will be responsible for subordinate units totaling 850 Service Members from all three Army components.

“Once you get overseas, it is all about mission accomplishment,” Daugherty said. “I look forward to working alongside Soldiers from different parts of the nation, different backgrounds, and teaming up to accomplish any task put in front of us.”

This deployment will be the battalion’s fourth in 15 years. Previously, the CSSB deployed to Bosnia in 2001, to Iraq in 2006 and Kuwait in 2013.

Prior to the CSSB’s departure, the last Connecticut Army National Guard unit to deploy overseas was the 1109th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group’s mission to Kuwait and Afghanistan. The TASMG returned in the late summer of 2016.

“We’re excited to hit the ground running,” Daugherty said. “I cannot wait to see what this mission has in store for us.”