402nd Army Field Support Brigade welcomes new commander
April 26, 2010
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - Soldiers, Airmen and civilians watched as the commander of the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade handed over his civilians to another, during a change of command ceremony April 21 at Morale, Welfare and Recreation east at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.
The 402nd AFSB out of Rock Island, Ill., manages Army Materiel Command logistics to equip, sustain and protect service members in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Maj. Gen. James E. Rogers, commander of the 1st Sustainment Command (Theater) out of Fort Bragg, N.C., thanked the service members and civilians in the audience, as well as family and friends who could not attend.
"What a great day to be a Soldier," he said. "This is an important Army tradition where we say farewell to one outstanding commander and welcome an equally promising new leader."
Rogers said it is sad to see individuals leave, but the mission will continue.
"(Col. Brian R. Haebig) thrived in his command of the 402nd," he said.
With the U.S. military fully engaged in two separate wars, facilitating a responsible drawdown of forces from Iraq while setting the country up for success would not have been possible without the 402nd and its force of roughly 8,000 Soldiers, Airmen and civilians, said Rogers.
The outgoing commander reestablished accountability of more than 250 million property book items, Roger said.
"When you consider some of the things that (Haebig) has done for the readiness rates across the theater, he provided management oversight of the largest theater property book in the history of the Army, $18 billion," he said.
The nation expects the brigade to be a true steward of government property, said Rogers.
"(Haebig) exemplified that in this command," he said. "This outstanding unit with its outstanding group of leaders, like all good organizations, like (United States Forces - Iraq) itself ... has achieved success by focusing on three key areas: mission, people and teamwork."
Haebig, the outgoing commander of the 402nd AFSB and an Oshkosh, Wis., native, thanked the service members and civilians for their support of the mission.
"I'm smiling now, not just because I think we've done a pretty good job, but I'm also happy I'm turning (the command) over to a great officer," he said. "The experiences that I've had over the last 13 months in Iraq have been ones that have touched every fiber of my being."
Rogers said the incoming commander is more than capable of handling the mission.
"I really could not think of a better qualified officer to come and lead this organization as we continue with the responsible drawdown and resetting the theater," he said.
Col. Larry Fuller, the incoming commander with the 402nd AFSB and a Jackson, Ala., native, said he was grateful for the chance to lead the brigade during the drawdown.
"What a tough act to follow," he said. "Col. Brian Haebig has truly set the bar high. You have done a remarkable job setting this command up for success and I appreciate the opportunity to be your understudy for the last 10 days."
The unit will continue to be responsible for drawing down U.S. equipment from Iraq, as the United States military and its contractors prepare to leave the country, Fuller said.
"To 8,000 plus Soldiers, Airmen, (Department of the Army) civilians and contractors who make up the brigade, I am immensely impressed by your professionalism, discipline, commitment and energy," he said.