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1st Theater Sustainment Command

News Stories

Durable Soldiers Join the Fight

By Sgt. Walter Carroll | 1ID Resolute Support Sustainment Brigade | March 13, 2019

Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan --

Deployment — a word commonly heard throughout the United States Army. For some, it means a new adventure and perhaps a bit of nervousness. For others, it means saying goodbye to your family to again answer the nations call. For Soldiers in the 1st Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, these two separate meanings encompass a multitude of emotions.


The 1st Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade deployed to Afghanistan in early February and adopted the title “1ID Resolute Support Sustainment Brigade” (1ID RSSB). In a rooftop ceremony above their headquarters, presided over by Maj. Gen. Flem B. "Donnie" Walker, commanding general of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command, the 1ID RSSB assumed responsibility for sustaining Operations Resolute Support and Freedom’s Sentinel.


Among these Soldiers is Spc. Dalton M. Chatwell, a combat medic who has been in the Army for nearly two years and three months. He offered his view on what this deployment means and how he will do his part to support the mission.


“Of course I was going to miss my family and all the friends back home in the rear,” said Chatwell. “However I was more excited to get out here and actually get more hands-on with my job. Also, to feel like I was having an impact in Afghanistan. My primary mission out here is to ensure the health and wellness of all the Soldiers within the brigade. With my job we handle all health care needs in the brigade, which includes anything from actual trauma to minor cuts.”


Chatwell also has some goals to make the most of his time in Afghanistan.


“Personally, I plan on working toward college classes to prepare myself for when my contracted service is over. Professionally, I’d like to learn more and get some real life hands-on experience.”


Like the rest of the 1ID RSSB, Chatwell deployed as part of a larger team.


“Our team out here consists of one physician assistant, our medical NCOIC (noncommissioned officer in charge), myself and Pfc. Chavez who are the actual on-the-ground medics,” Chatwell said.


1st Lt. Scott R. Leduc, 1ID RSSB physician assistant, gives insight on how he and his team of medics will support the mission.


“On a regular basis we try to man the aid station as best as possible,” Leduc said. “We will see anybody for any acute care. This includes regular sick-call for people who are sick, having stomach issues or muscle-skeletal problems such as a sprained ankle.”


Leduc also stated what he hopes his troops take away from the deployment.


“One thing we’re trying to gear our aid station toward is being able to accept trauma casualties of any kind. One, because I think we should always be ready for that in the military. We never know what could happen.”


“I also want this to be a learning point for them (his medics) so they can see, if in the future they are sent out to the middle of nowhere and they have to improvise and make an aid station,” Leduc said. “They’ll have a background and basis of how to set things up and how it should run.”


Before deploying the Soldiers of the 1ID RSSB participated in training both as a unit and individually.


“Before deployment we tried setting up an aid station in the rear that was more of your austere aid station,” Leduc said. “We did a few exercises where we used training modules to run through different exercises.”


“One of the other things we did before deployment was say hey, let’s pretend we’re in the middle of Afghanistan and you’re the only one, what are you going to do,” Leduc would ask his medics. “Is this something you could handle or feel comfortable handling? Or is this something that is out of your league and you need to consult with higher? I just wanted them to learn their limitations.”


With the Soldiers finally settled in after a successful relief in place and transfer of authority, many have stated that they look forward to what’s to come with this mission.


“The worst part is getting out here,” Chatwell said. “Once you’re out here and you feel like you’re actually doing something, all the worries fade away.”


The Durable Soldiers of the 1ID RSSB will sustain Operations Resolute Support and Freedom’s Sentinel through the months to come. While many of them already miss home, there is excitement and no doubt that the Durable Brigade is ready for the mission. Duty first!