News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

December 21, 2012

Big assignment ‘comes with the job’

ISU’s Chris Pfaff readies for third military deployment since 2001

TERRE HAUTE — Chris Pfaff, a business development professional at Indiana State University and former president of Downtown Terre Haute Inc., is about to take on yet another big assignment – in uniform.

Pfaff is a 26-year veteran of U.S. military service and a lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard. He is now preparing to ship out on his third lengthy tour of duty since the terrorist attacks of Nov. 11, 2001.

“It comes with the job,” Pfaff said Thursday during a pre-deployment send off at ISU.

Pfaff, 45, whose civilian job is to direct the ISU Center for Business Support and Economic Innovation, will be leaving soon for Kuwait where he will head up the Theater Gateway, which coordinates civilian and military movement into and out of Iraq, Afghanistan and nearby areas. The Kuwait gateway managed the movement of more than 700,000 passengers in 2008, according to a U.S. Defense Department publication.

Pfaff said his unit, the 138th Theater Gateway Personnel Accountability Team, based in Indianapolis, is one of just a few such units in the entire U.S. military.

“It’s a very unique job that we do,” he said.

As a deployed soldier in 2008 and 2009, Pfaff learned first-hand what it is like to be a “customer” traveling through the Kuwait Theater Gateway. He traveled through it on his way to and from northern Afghanistan, where he served for nine months as part of a 16-member team training Afghan soldiers and police.

Because he knows what it’s like to be one of the thousands of military and civilian personnel that travel through the gateway each day, Pfaff said he believes that will help him in his latest mission. He knows the frustrations troops may experience with long waits to pass through the gateway, he said.

In addition to his 2008/2009 deployment to Afghanistan, Pfaff also served for a year as head of public affairs at Camp Atterbury in south central Indiana just before the war in Iraq began.

Pfaff, whose military career includes eight years of active duty service, said he expects to return from his latest deployment before Thanksgiving of next year. He also said he believes his unit will be fully prepared for their mission when they arrive in Kuwait.

“It’s an important job,” he said.

Pfaff, whose wife, Tonya, will remain in Terre Haute with the couple’s four children, said he is sometimes discouraged when it seems many Americans appear unaware the country remains involved in an armed conflict overseas.

“It can be discouraging,” he said. “Folks, there is a war still going on.”

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at (812) 231-4232 or

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Today in History for April 18th Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual
NDN Video
Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010