The 232nd engineer company prepared to say goodbyes at departure ceremony held on post

Hundreds of soldiers, family members, and friends filled Nutter Field House on Tuesday to say farewell to the men and women in the 232nd engineer company deploying this week.

During deployment, the soldiers in the company will be divided into three groups for three separate missions in Kuwait and Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan, they will be assisting with deconstructing the forward operating bases and also constructing a place for demobilization that will help the military to move out. In Kuwait, one group of soldiers will be working with the department of public works with extending the airfield and another group will be expanding the base in Kuwait to accommodate more soldiers.

Brig. Gen. Peter A. Deluca spoke to the company during the departure ceremony about the many changes the soldier will inevitably endure throughout their deployment.

"You are entering a deployment to the middle east at a time where everything about what we are doing there, what we will deal with, our own missions, and the missions of our partners and our enemies are changing."

He then told the soldiers that the mission they are deploying with will very likely change as well. He said that it is possible for the soldiers in the 232nd engineer company might do work in places other than Afghanistan and Kuwait, including Jordan and Turkey.

"What you need to ask yourself is how your techniques and tactics will change because the environment will be changing, because the enemy has changed, or because our mission itself has changed," he said.

"You are going to face more changes during your deployment than any other force that has deployed since the very beginning of our tour there. And that is something that will challenge each and every one of yo to adapt during these conflicts so you can keep everyone safe."

Sgt. John Cobb of Waynesville said that he feels "100 percent" that the soldiers in the company are prepared for this mission.

"I honestly couldn't ask to deploy with a better group of soldiers," Cobb said. "These soldiers do their jobs so diligently, it's incredible how well we work together as a team."

Cobb said that when the company was training in Fort Reilly, Kan., they were able to complete a three-day job in just a day and a half.

The company is composed of more than 150 engineers, ranging from ages 19 to 44. Cobb said about 50 percent of them have deployed before.

"The guys that haven't deployed are ready to fight and seeking knowledge from the guys who have," he said.