By Staff Sgt. Candice Funchess, Headquarters, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Public AffairsJune 11, 2015
Brig. Gen. Frank W. Tate took his position as the Deputy Commanding General (Support) of the 101st Airborne Division on August 1, 2014. The Soldiers bid farewell to Tate in an honor eagle ceremony held here June 11.
Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky, commanding general for the 101st, opened his remarks by telling the story of the battle for the last bridge into Carentan, Germany led by Lt. Col. Robert Cole, then commander of 3rd Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment. The battle happened 71 years ago, today. Volesky spoke of this epic battle in 101st history to point out the similarities in leadership between Cole and Tate, saying Tate is cut from the same cloth as men like Cole. Volesky went out to say that Tate was a proven combat veteran who led from the front and those who see him charging forward, quickly follow.
Volesky said that in ten short months, Tate has impacted every aspect of the division and Tate's fingerprints will remain on the Screaming Eagles for years to come.
A few of the areas Tate made the most impact were in the Operation United Assistance mission and the establishment of the division's first unmanned aerial system.
Tate's Impact on the Operation United Assistance Mission
As the deputy commanding general of support, Tate played a critical role in the success of the OUA mission.
"The mission in Liberia had a very large logistics component to it. Of course, we were extremely happy that we were able to bring our own, 101st Sustainment Brigade, said Tate. "We were responsible for all the logistics support for the Ebola treatment units as well as helping to build treatment units, train healthcare workers and establish labs. All very critical to the successful, combined, joint, interagency and international operation that was Operation United Assistance."
Tate's previous position in the Army G-8, handling immense budgets, prepared him for the critical task of overseeing the budget for the OUA mission.
"He (Tate) oversaw every dollar spent throughout Operation United Assistance. He ensured everything we needed to complete our mission, build Ebola Treatment Units, train health care workers, and provide logistical support to the Ebola Response, was fully funded," said Volesky.
Volesky went on to say that he asked Tate to complete the toughest task of all; get every Operation United Assistance service member home and completely close out the mission in Liberia. And that is exactly what he did. With a small staff, he got every Soldier safely back to his or her installation, he got every piece of equipment turned in or shipped back home, and he left the Liberian people the confidence that they could get to zero Ebola cases. And that is exactly what they did.
Volesky said since Tate's return (from Liberia) Tate has "lead the charge" to get the division's unmanned aerial system, known as Gray Eagle, integrated into the 101st and into the skies.
On June 3, Soldiers from Company B "Archangels", 101st Aviation Regiment flew the Gray Eagles for the first time.
"I'm very proud of what our Soldiers have accomplished with the first Gray Eagle unit to be established here. We are establishing a combined unmanned aerial system maintenance and training facility at Sabre Army Airfield. I think that that is going to be a model for the rest of the Army that the 101st CAB and our BCTs will work together to make possible," said Tate.
Tate's Impression of the 101st and its Soldiers
"My initial impression has been reconfirmed. The ability of the 101st and the great Soldiers that we have to take on any mission that our nation asks of us, was truly validated by the incredibly unique, first in history, precedent-setting deployment to West Africa to help end the pandemic. The great troopers of the 101st Airborne (Air Assault), as they always do, rushed to the sounds of the guns. They went over there and dealt with the unknown, dealt with the fearful, and put a stop to that threat," said Tate.
Tate was particularly impressed with the resurgence in the Air Assault spirit across the division. Tate explained how over the course of many years of combat rotations, the number of Soldiers within the division that had an opportunity to get to air assault school and earn those wings, to make them fully a part of the air assault culture, had gone down. In the last year, all of the units have really gotten after that and we're (the division) is starting to see tremendous numbers.
Tate on the 101st community
Tate leaves the division with gratitude, and offers thanks to the community, to the leaders and to the Soldiers and their Families.
"I would like them all to know how grateful Bev (Tate's wife) and I are for the way we've been embraced since we've been here in the unit, from the Soldiers in the unit, but also from the local community, local leaders, Fort Campbell Champions. All that great community you always hear so much about, 101st absolutely lived up to that name. The way they took care of Beverly while I was gone and befriended her, is something I will always be grateful for and is why we will always remember Fort Campbell with great fondness," said Tate.
Tate's Next Rendezvous
Tate's next assignment is as the Deputy Chief of Staff - Operations for Multi-National Corps-Northeast, located in Szczecin, Poland at the NATO Corps Headquarters. Tate will be the first American general to hold the position and work to integrate U.S. troops, for the first time, into the Multi-National Corps-Northeast.