FORT HOOD, Texas -- (Sept. 3, 2015) Soldiers from the 418th Contracting Support Brigade uncased their colors in a ceremony here Sept. 3 after their six-month deployment and then joined the rest of their organization, family and friends in welcoming a new leader in a change of command that followed.Members of the 418th CSB returned to Fort Hood Sept. 1 following a deployment to Afghanistan, where they assumed the role as lead service for contracting from the U.S. Central Command Joint Theater Support Contracting Command. The brigade served as the command and control element of Expeditionary Contracting Command-Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel.Following the uncasing of colors, Col. Lynda Armer assumed command of the brigade from Col. Dennis McGowan in a ceremony officiated by Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Gabbert, the commanding general for the Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The 418th CSB is one of three brigades and one field directorate office subordinate to the MICC.Armer, a West Point graduate, comes to Fort Hood from the Pentagon where she served in a program management position for the Joint Staff."America now gives you the honor to lead the fine Soldiers and civilians of the 418th Contracting Support Brigade," Gabbert said of Armer's new charge. "It is your task to continue to lead this exceptional organization and build upon a ready, transparent and accountable organization that is built on trust and respect."Armer entered the Army as an engineer officer responsible for providing support in a range of duties to include building structures, developing civil works programs and combat support. She joined the Army Acquisition Corps in 2000 continuing to provide support for some of those same duties as a contracting officer in acquisition assignments at Fort Hood; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter, Hawaii; Fort Sam Houston; and Kaiserslautern, Germany.The new commander's operational experience includes deployments as a contingency contracting officer to Kuwait, Iraq and Haiti. Armer is Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Level III certified in contracting and holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Kansas."I am honored and humbled to be taking command of the brigade following their successful deployment in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel," Armer said. "I look forward to leading such an esteemed group of Soldier and civilian contracting professionals."McGowan departs Fort Hood to return to JBSA-Fort Sam Houston where he will take command of the 412th CSB in a ceremony later this month. Prior to deploying with the brigade, he served as the MICC chief of staff from August 2014 to January 2015. Upon his return from deployment Sept. 1, McGowan said he wanted to thank Maj. Gen. Ted Harrison, the former commanding general for the Army Contracting Command, Brig. Gen. Michael Hoskin, ECC commanding general, and Gabbert for the opportunity to deploy with such a dedicated team."They gave me a great opportunity to lead Soldiers in a combat environment," he said. "One that I believe I would not have had if they had not blessed off on my leading this group."The deployment in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel was the first for a brigade trained and attached to the MICC.Activated in July 2013, the 418th CSB enhances installation and operational contracting support to Army commands. The brigade is responsible for more than 400 civilians at nine subordinate contracting offices aligned to support customers throughout the country. Those include offices at Fort Hood, Texas; White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico; Dugway Proving Ground, Utah; Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Carson, Colorado; Fort Riley, Kansas; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; and Fort Irwin, California.The 418th CSB is also made up of more than 150 Soldiers assigned to four contracting battalions and 16 contracting teams who, when called upon, perform contracting in a contingency environment including military and stability operations as well as natural disasters and humanitarian events. Among the major customers supported by the brigade are III Corps, the U.S. Army Reserve Command and U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command.