CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - Soldiers from the 1st Sustainment Command (Theater) Operational Command Post recently had the opportunity to hear direct from their commander on the current status of their organization and the way forward for future operations.
Maj. Gen. Darrell K. Williams, 1st TSC commander, provided a "state of the command" briefing to the Soldiers, non-commissioned officers and officers within the organization at the Zone 1 Chapel at Camp Arifjan, Jan. 29.
My intent is to provide you with a look at "where we are headed and what we have done," said Williams, who laid out for the assembled crowd the mission and priorities of the TSC, or what he calls the "SHARP+5." This refers to the TSC's and Army's No. 1 priority, prevention of sexual harassment and sexual assault, plus the five strategic priorities of the organization.
Support to ongoing contingency operations, support to the U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility, theater security cooperation, training and developing sustainment organizations, and cultivating resiliency round out his vision.
All play a key part in executing what we call "single sustainment mission command," said Williams.
With the high operational tempo of the organization, Williams explained that TSC leadership has to constantly re-evaluate the situation across the area of responsibility and assess priorities. What may or may not have been a focus area six months ago could change over time, and the organization needs to be flexible in order to meet the demands. He used the ongoing advise and assist mission in Iraq as an example.
One of the challenges the TSC faces is bringing together all organizations and partners who play a role in sustaining the force across the CENTCOM area of responsibility; between Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and Afghanistan among other countries. Some of the involved parties do not necessarily fall under the command of the TSC but are organizations they must coordinate with to accomplish the mission. This is what Williams means by single sustainment mission command.
"Overall, I thought it was a great chance for the Soldiers to have increased interaction with the CG [commanding general]," said Lt. Col. Soo Kim-Delio, 1st TSC-OCP surgeon. "I feel like he did a good job reviewing both how wide and deep our mission is, his priorities, and expectations for how we'll get the mission done."
With the high turnover of forces throughout the region, Williams stated that it is imperative for the TSC to set each unit up for success. This, he stated, is what training and developing sustainment organizations is all about.
Training and developing sustainment organizations "enables units to come to theater, fully prepared, with no degradation in mission support," he said.
Concluding his address, Williams explained that resiliency and adherence to standards and discipline is paramount to mission success. He laid out what he calls the "BlackJack Standards;" the top three being "lead by example, take care of Soldiers and families, and mission accomplishment."
"You notice that I talk about taking care of Soldiers and families before I talk about taking care of the mission," said Williams. "Because, I still believe ... that if you take care of the troops, the mission will happen. The reverse is not always true."
"I'm proud of this organization, and I hope you are too," he said.
Based out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the 1st TSC provides single sustainment mission command to Army, joint, and multinational forces across the U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility. The Operational Command Post is its forward element in Kuwait, which recently experienced a transfer of authority with the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) from Fort Hood, Texas.
"I felt like I was more part of the team after the briefing," said Capt. Roger France, 1st TSC-OCP deputy chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear [CBRN] officer. "At my level, I feel I contribute more to the mission by having a general knowledge."