XVIII Airborne Corps Special Troops Battalion under new leadership
June 23, 2009
Lieutenant Colonel William J. Wanovich handed the reins of Special Troops Battalion to Lt. Col. Peter S. Im during a change-of-command ceremony June 18 on Throckmorton Field.
Wanovich commanded the battalion since June 2006 and led Task Force Dragon on a successful tour to Camp Victory, Iraq, from January 2008 to April 2009.
During Wanovich's command the unit underwent dramatic changes to include forming four new companies and aligning millions of dollars of equipment and property.
"Looking over their accomplishments, it is truly extraordinary that this organization accomplished so much, with such a small team, and always to an impeccable standard of excellence," said Maj. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, XVIII Airborne Corps deputy commanding general.
Under Wanovich's leadership, the STB's personal security detachments escorted more than 48,000 service members and civilians safely to and from the Victory Base Complex to the International Zone. His Soldiers conducted over 1,900 combat patrols to ensure routes were safe for command and staff movement and provided security services for 12 general officers during 80 critical missions. The STB also successfully moved the Multi-National Force - Iraq staff to the Victory Base Complex, fielded Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles and managed 142 hand receipts worth $7 million dollars. Lastly, Wanovich accomplished all of these tasks while transforming the battalion to its current modularized posture by activating Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie Company and inactivating Headquarters and Headquarters Company and 270th Signal Company.
"The achievements of this battalion in a combat environment were integral to the positive and enduring results attained in Iraq during our 15 month mission," said Allyn. "I am certain that Bill has set the stage for sustained momentum so the Special Troops Battalion continues to build upon its reputation of excellence as the Corps Headquarters continues with transformation and reset, with the Special Troops Battalion pacing the progress toward further mission success."
After Allyn thanked Wanovich for his outstanding leadership, the outgoing commander took the podium. Wanovich directed attention to the Soldiers in formation. He said he was proud to have been allowed command of the STB and ensured the incoming commander that he was in good hands.
"Pete, I know the members of the battalion will give you their full support, that they will stay ready and mission focused, and they will continue to provide excellent support to the Corps staff." Wanovich said. "When challenged, these great troopers look forward to more responsibility and always reward you by doing great things. "
As Im, a Traverse City, Mich. native and 1985 graduate of Traverse City St. Francis High School, took the podium, he thanked the XVIII Airborne Corps leadership for the warm welcome and opportunity to return to Fort Bragg.
"I want to thank Lt. Col. Bill Wanovich for not only his great transition and friendship, but for his vision, leadership and care of these great Soldiers and their Families," said Im. "It is an honor and privilege to join your ranks and to serve as your commander.
Finally, Im thanked his wife, Jeanne, for her love, encouragement, and patience. "Thank you for being willing to take this journey with me and for how you make everywhere we have been a home for our Family," said Im.
Im was the head of the Army ROTC Department of Military Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since July of 2007. He was responsible for running the Army program at University of Illinois to train and commission future Army Leaders.
Wanovich, his wife, Tina, and their two daughters, Regan and Grace, will be stationed at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. Im is married to the former Regina Susan Hall and has two sons, Michael and Andrew.