Scott G. Winterton, Deseret Morning News
Lt. Ira Pray of 889th Transportation Detachment says farewell to his wife, Stacy, in back, and sons Trey, Kaleb and Dakota.

Fifteen members of the Army Reserve's 889th Transportation Detachment, based in Salt Lake City, left Monday for the Middle East via Colorado.

One additional member of the transportation experts had left previously, bringing the total to 16. The 15 bid family members farewell in the morning at the Uchida Army Reserve Center, 5290 W. 700 South, then boarded buses for a short trip to the airport.

From there they flew to their home for the next several weeks, Fort Carson, Colo. After training at that sprawling fort, they are to fly to the Middle East.

Claude McKinney, spokesman for the Army Reserve's 96th Regional Readiness Command, Fort Douglas, said the soldiers were to be processed out of the Reserves and into the regular Army on Monday.

Their eventual location isn't set out in black and white, he said, but it will be with the U.S. Central Command. Most likely they will be on duty in Iraq or Kuwait.

The group tracks and watches over transfer of military property, making sure cargo reaches its intended destination. Whether working at an airport, seaport, rail terminal or truck port, "they make sure equipment moves on and off whatever conveyances it is coming through," he said.

The 889th was mobilized for 18th months. They will spend at least one year "boots on ground" in the Middle East, he added.