By Summer BarkleyJuly 30, 2015
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait--One ceremony encompassed a change of command, change of responsibility and change of mission for the 401st Army Field Support Brigade here July 16.
As soon as Command Sgt. Maj. Wendy A. Robinson, outgoing 401st AFSB command sergeant major, passed the brigade colors to Col. Matthew J. Ferguson, she stepped back and Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel L. Sheward II stepped forward to take his place as the new brigade senior non-commissioned officer.
Ferguson passed the colors to Maj. Gen. Kevin G. O'Connell, U.S. Army Sustainment Command commanding general, signaling the end of his time in command of the brigade.
O'Connell passed the brigade colors to Col. Christopher L. Day and charged him with the brigade mission to act as the U.S. Army Materiel Command and U.S. Army Sustainment Command's 'face to the field' as the single AMC point of contact for all units under the U.S. Central Command area of operations.
Day passed the colors to Sheward for safekeeping and in recognition of his new role as the 401st AFSB senior non-commissioned officer.
"All responsibility for the CENTCOM area of operations falls to the 401st now," said O'Connell. "I am most proud of the teamwork of the 401st and 402nd to set conditions for the 401st's new mission."
"It has been my good fortune and distinct honor to have had the privilege of serving the members of the 401st Army Field Support Brigade this past year as commander," said Ferguson. "I am humbled by the incredible accomplishments of this Team in support of our Soldiers and our Army on behalf of Army Sustainment Command."
In further remarks, Ferguson said he was "humbled by the incredible accomplishment of this team I support - of our Soldiers and our Army on behalf of Army Sustainment Command." He enumerated several present and past teammates who made a difference including his "senior civilian brain trust lead by Mark Akin, Gloria Blake, Eddie Nagel and Roudy Broadway, my [current] battalion commanders Lt. Col. Mark Susnis and Lt. Col. Leon Hill as well as former commanders Lt. Col. Marvin Walker and Lt. Col. Dustin Awtrey" and added that they represent the thousands of Department of the Army Civilians, Contractors, and service members who contributed to the overall success of the 401st AFSB through Operation Drum Beat -- the drawdown from Afghanistan -- and the brigade's transition to Kuwait.
"Seeing the significant accomplishments of the organization and the direct impact at the highest levels of our Army and the DoD [Department of Defense] has certainly been astounding and daunting," said Day. "It is truly a testament to the leadership and exceptional competence of the soldiers and civilians working here … past and present. I look forward to working through the future challenges with the entire team."
The change of command ceremony marks the 401st AFSB's assumption of all U.S. Army Materiel Command and U.S. Army Sustainment Command missions to support the U.S Central Command area of responsibility, which is located between the European and Pacific combatant commands and consists of 20 counties with 37 contributing coalition countries. Prior to the ceremony the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade cased its colors in order to move the command to Hawaii where it will support U.S. Pacific Command missions. The 401st AFSB moved the headquarters to Camp Arifjan in December 2014, and the two brigades had been working jointly to execute missions and affect the orderly turnover of authority and transfer of functions.