One brigade, one big mission
December 9, 2013
KANDAHAR AIR FIELD, Afghanistan - The 15th Sustainment Brigade "Wagonmasters", 1st Armored Division, from Fort Bliss, Texas, cased its colors during a transfer of authority ceremony held on Dec. 4, 2013, as they handed the reins to the 101st Sustainment Brigade "Lifeliners", 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) from Fort Campbell, Ky.
This ceremony signifies the successful completion of one sustainment brigade's mission and the continuation and expansion of another's mission. The Lifeliner brigade's initial mission in Afghanistan was to support Regional Commands (RC) - East, North and Capital, essentially Northern and Eastern portion of the country. As the 101st Sustainment Brigade headquarters, known as Task Force Lifeliner, continues their mission, they will increase their support to RC's - South, Southwest and National Support Element West, which comprises the Southern and Western portions of Afghanistan.
"We merged two sustainment brigades worth of work into one single logistics headquarters, as Col. Charles Hamilton and Command Sgt. Maj. Eugene Thomas from the 101st Sustainment Brigade become the only sustainment Brigade for all of Afghanistan," said Maj. Gen. Kurt J. Stein, a native of Middletown, N.J., and commanding general of 1st Theater Sustainment Command (Theater).
During the Wagonmaster's deployment they sustained more than 40,000 U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) personnel throughout the Southern half of the country, logging more than 200,000 miles on dangerous Afghan roads, supplying fuel, food, mail, water and any other type of commodity troops may need.
Now as the sole sustainment brigade in Afghanistan, the Lifeliners will provide logistical and retrograde support operations for the entire Combined Joint Operations Area - Afghanistan (CJOA-A), in support of 1st Theater Sustainment Command (Theater).
"This represents a new chapter in the Lifeliner history," stated U.S. Army Col. Charles R. Hamilton, Task Force Lifeliner commander. "Both teams have already done tremendous work preparing for this day."
Hamilton a native of Houston, Texas continued to explain that the Task Force Lifeliner's are committed to provide support to the troops in these new areas of responsibility to ensure that the forces have everything they need. He also thanked the Wagonmasters for "setting the Lifeliners up for success."
Stein bid a warm farewell to the Wagonmasters and proclaimed them as a "superb Army unit". He ensured both commands knew that "the Army always gets it right" as he touted about the Lifeliners accomplishments thus far in their current mission in the Northern half of Afghanistan.
"In many Army situations, success is often rewarded with more responsibility... yes more work, and this is definitely the case today as we merge two sustainment brigades worth of work into one single logistics headquarters."