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NEWS | April 17, 2020

North Carolina Guard twin Soldiers double down on deployment

By Capt. Regina Corbin 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team

UNDISCLOSED LOCATION – Deployments can be tough and the U.S. Army uses the “battle buddy” system to ensure Soldiers are supported and never alone. The 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team has two Soldiers who are not only battle buddies; they are twin sisters.

U.S. Army Sgt. Karissa Henasey and Sgt. Kaela Henasey are deployed together for the second time with the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield.

“We help each other. It’s nice always having someone there,” said Karissa, an assistant noncommissioned officer in charge of the fueler section with Alpha Company, 230th Brigade Support Battalion. “We have each other’s backs. We do PT (physical training) together and help each other in the motor pool.”

The Henasey twins are both motor transport operators and have served in the same North Carolina National Guard unit for eight years. Their first Operation Spartan Shield deployment was in 2015.

“We are best friends and don’t stay mad at each other long,” said Kaela, a squad leader for Alpha Company, 230th Brigade Support Battalion. “When we do fight, we get over it fast. Five minutes (later) we are ready to go eat chow again.”

The Henasey twins do almost everything together. They eat meals together, work in the motor pool and are training together for the Army Combat Fitness Test and Norwegian Ruck March, a grueling 18.6-mile foot march.

“We ruck four miles every day and are working our way up to 18.6 miles,” said Karissa. “We motivate each other. There are days when one of us doesn’t feel like working out and we drag each other along.”

They are each pursuing a bachelor’s degree; Karissa in social work and Kaela in childhood family development.

Kaela is also a mother and celebrated her daughter’s sixth birthday in April on video chat with her sister by her side. Her sister was also there the day she was born.

“Becoming an aunt was the best experience of my life,” Karissa said. “Alannah is our triplet. She looks just like us and has both of our personalities. I spoil her, and the best part is, I can give her back.”

The Henasey twins are promotable to staff sergeant and have accepted positions in different units for future promotion upon redeployment. They both are looking forward to buying their first home.

They have three younger brothers and a very supportive family they are looking forward to seeing soon.

“We like the same things, but our personalities are the opposite. I like scuba diving, sky diving, and travel. She likes to stay home and routine, but I wouldn’t want to deploy with anyone else,” Kaela said.