MCLC chief of staff returns

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

MCLB-ALBANY -- Col. Ben Braden, MCLC Command-Forward commanding officer, was greeted by a group of more than 100 various service members, civilian employees, family and Brig. Gen. James A. Kessler, LOGCOM commanding general, when he arrived home Friday afternoon from his five-month-long tour of duty in Kuwait.

While in Kuwait, Braden said he oversaw the removal of equipment from Iraq, where it was inspected and then shipped either to Afghanistan or back to the states.

"It went really well," he said of his tour of duty in Kuwait. "We had a big mission to do and we were successful."

Kessler said that the mission was so successful that Braden led Marines to finishing the mission three weeks ahead of schedule.

"We are extremely proud of his service and leadership," Kessler said. "He had a tough mission to complete and in very difficult conditions."

Braden said Marines in Kuwait worked tirelessly to keep the mission running smoothly.

"They worked all weekends, every day at all hours," he said. "I hope Albany understands how proud they should be of our Marines and the work they are doing over there."

Braden said after completing administrative paper work, he is going to take a brief break before resuming his position as chief of staff for Marine Corps Logistics Command at MCLB-Albany.

Braden's wife, Terri, was at the base Friday to greet her husband.

"I feel wonderful," she said of his homecoming. "I'm glad he is here and I hope that all of our Marines come home safely as he did."

Terri Braden said her husband has been deployed before, but she is always glad to see him when he returns. The couple's bloodhound, Otis, will now be in her husband's hands.

"He is going to get custody of the dog for awhile," she quipped.

Kessler said Braden's deployment marks the ending of the first phase of deployments for MCLC.

"This is somewhat of a unique deployment for us," he said. "This command has had a history of staying inside the wire, as they say.

Starting a few years ago, the command decided that deployment of logistics command forward overseas would take some of the logistics burden off of our war fighters."

Kessler said deployments like Braden's create a better environment for war fighters, therefore making missions more successful and less stressful.