Being mobile: the art of war

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
amorris@starhq.com
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- Serving alongside members of the 776th Maintenance Company at Fort Campbell are members of other military units who were called to active duty to assist members of the company in completing the mission they were assigned.
According to First Sgt. Thomas Hughes of the 776th, approximately 20 attached personnel are currently serving with the company. Soldiers from the 777th Maintenance Company, the 771st Maintenance Company and the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment were detached from their regular units and assigned to take part in the mobilization of troops from Fort Campbell and the support of the post in the absence of deployed active military personnel.
"If our unit does not have a specific specialty, the Army will send in someone who does," Hughes said. "They fill in our empty slots and bring our unit up to full strength. They have specialties that perhaps our unit doesn't have, so they fill in where we need them."
Being detached from their normal Army unit can be a unique experience for these personnel.
"I am loving it. It's exciting, something new," said Sgt. Robert Hunt, who is a member of the 777th which is based out of Nashville, Tenn. "It makes you feel like you're a part."
Hunt stated that life working in an engine shop alongside members of the 776th is very similar to his normal duties with his regular unit. "It's really no different other than we're in a different location," he said, adding that this is the first time he has ever been detached from his regular unit. "We work as an Army of one, and we blend right in. We just get to meet new people."
Some of the soldiers attached to the 776th say they sometimes feel left out since being detached from their regular unit. Sgt. Jennifer Grooms, who is a petroleum specialist with the 777th, said that she has not had any contact with the rest of her company since she and other members of the 777th who are attached to the 776th, arrived at Fort Campbell in January. "Nobody has even called to check on us here," she said.
According to Grooms, she has one reminder of home with her at Fort Campbell, another soldier whom she has known for many years, Sgt. Rhonda Long. "We got into the Army at the same time. We're from the same town. We had our children at the same time," Grooms said of Long. "She's the only touch of home that I have up here."
Both Grooms and Long have been in the Army for 21 years, and this is the first time that either has been detached from their regular unit. "This has been a new experience for us," Long said.