776th rumors remain unconfirmed

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
Rumors about the possible return home of some members of the 776th Maintenance Company remained unconfirmed Wednesday night.
"I know rumors are flying around but we are not allowed to release any information," said Capt. Larry Northcutt of the 776th.
While commenting on the rumors, Northcutt cited an article from a local newspaper which stated that approximately 45 members of the 776th Maintenance Company would return home on Sept. 15. "I know an article ran in the Johnson City newspaper but I do not know where they got their information from," Northcutt said, adding that information about a possible return date for members of the company has not been released yet. "I am not allowed to release any numbers regarding how many soldiers will be sent or any dates as to when they will be sent home."
Sources who wished to remain confidential told the Elizabethton Star on Tuesday that soldiers from the company had been informed that approximately 40 members of the company would be released to go home in September. The source further stated that more members of the company could possibly be released in December, while some members of the company would be staying behind at Fort Campbell, Ky.
On Tuesday, the Star spoke with a military official with the 776th Maintenance Company who stated that he could not comment on the rumors.
Just over a week ago, Col. Malcolm Atkins, commander of the 3397th Garrison Support Unit, of which the 776th Maintenance Company is a part, stated that he believes the members of the company will remain at Fort Campbell until the end of the year. "The expectation right now is that they will stay for all of those units (which mobilized through Fort Campbell) to get back," Atkins said. "Right now my expectation is that we will be here for the 12-month initial rotation period at least."
The 776th Maintenance Company mobilized and deployed from Elizabethton in January and have since been based at Fort Campbell. When members of the company first arrived, they assisted units which had been mobilized in deploying from Fort Campbell by inspecting vehicles, machinery and weapons to make sure the equipment was combat ready. Since that time, members of the company have been working as support units for the Fort Campbell community in the absence of active duty military personnel who were deployed from the post.