Troops outfitted for the desert at Ft. Stewart - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Troops outfitted for the desert at Ft. Stewart

^ Royce Kennedy ^ Royce Kennedy
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January 21, 2003

Hinesville, Ga.-- Troops of the 3rd Infantry Division depart Georgia this week, and soon, there will be 12,000 of them in the Middle East.

Hundreds of them spent Tuesday at the central issue facility, where they’re being issued boots, hats, gloves, and other apparel to keep them warm in the cold desert, as well as chemical protective suits for possible chemical warfare.

“We’ve been operating seven days a week for about a month, now,” said Logistics Directorate Royce Kennedy. “We’ve run from 7:30AM to 9:00 at night, and sometimes until midnight.”

The soldiers passing through Tuesday are from Florida, many from the National Guards, while others are Reservists, who will fill in at Fort Stewart in the daily operation of the base.

The central issue facility is part of a 72-hour process that begins when a soldier is mobilized. They'll also spend time preparing their wills, getting Anthrax shots, and giving power of attorney to family members. Nearly 3,000 troops have been through the center in the last two weeks.

Two flights leave Fort Stewart each day, carrying about a total of about 650 soldiers a day, and that will continue through the week.

More United States aircraft carriers are heading to the Persian Gulf. The U.S.S. "Abraham Lincoln" and the "Theodore Roosevelt" will join two other carriers already within striking distance of Iraq.

posted at 6:20PM by dave.miller@walb.com