CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait -- The 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, a U.S. Army Reserve unit from Marysville, Wash., transferred its mission to the 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, an Army Reserve unit from Pittsburgh, Pa., in a ceremony here July 18.
The 364th ESC's flag was slowly rolled up and tucked away as the 316th ESC's flag was unfurled, signifying the official transfer of the unit's Middle East sustainment mission.
"The 316th ESC is anticipating covering down on what was our mission here, repositioning the supplies and equipment that came from facilitating the responsible drawdown of forces from Iraq," said Brig. Gen. Jonathan G. Ives, of Alexandria, Va., commanding general of the 364th ESC.
After arriving in Kuwait on Sept. 16, 2011, the 364th ESC facilitated the responsible drawdown of forces from Iraq, transferring more than 50,000 personnel home in less than 56 days. The 364th ESC was also instrumental in the successful management of Camp Virginia, Kuwait, during Operation New Dawn, maintaining 100 percent accountability of all personnel and equipment.
"The 364th ESC NCO corps supported our commander in all aspects of operational sustainment, transition sustainment and strategic partner engagements," said Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Jennings, of Las Vegas, the 364th ESC's command sergeant major. "Our efforts were instrumental in airdrop operations and our maximum participation in support of the bridging strategy for retrograde operations produced significant results for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom."
Brig. Gen. Bud R. Jameson, Jr., the 316th ESC's commanding general, said his Soldiers were ready to take on the job.
"Soldiers of the 316th ESC are excited to be in Kuwait, excited for the mission of supporting our forces and working closely with our allies, and excited to be taking over command from the 364th ESC," Jameson said.
Before heading home, Soldiers from the 364th ESC are helping their counterparts from the 316th ESC prepare for their mission.
"By building upon our months of experience here in theater, we'll make sure the 316th will be able to pick up where we left off and have a successful deployment," Ives said. "We have provided them with an accurate, day-to-day picture of operations in Kuwait and throughout the Middle East.
"The last seven months have given us the opportunity to set the stage the way we wanted, to establish methods of doing business, and accomplish the mission having gone into it with a short learning curve," Ives added.
The 364th ESC was mobilized on July 28, 2011. After almost a year away from home, the unit's Soldiers are proud of their accomplishments and are ready for a much-deserved break.
After demobilization activities at Fort Bliss, Texas, the 364th ESC's Soldiers -- who represent 39 states, two countries, and one U.S. territory -- will head home to their waiting families and friends.
"My Soldiers' performance has been nothing short of amazing," Ives said. "I challenge each of them to move forward with the same drive and passion that has rightly earned each of them a place in our nation's military history and the absolute start of the 364 ESC's history."