By Pfc. Jesus J. Aranda, Task Force Lightning Public AffairsFebruary 7, 2009
Soldiers and guests were in attendance to witness the transfer of authority of garrison command from the 191st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion to the incoming 211th Regional Support Group at garrison headquarters on Contingency Operating Base Speicher Feb. 6.
Aca,!A"The 191st have worked hard for a long time and they have earned this day,Aca,!A? said Spc. Mark Medina, a Bishop, Texas native serving as a garrison administration clerk with the 211th RSG. Aca,!A"ItAca,!a,,cs our turn to do our job and support our country.Aca,!A?
The 211th RSG, a reserve unit from Corpus Christi, Texas, mobilized in early December, 2008. Having worked closely alongside the 191st CSSB since late last year in preparation for this day of assumption of control, the 211th RSG have impressed the outgoing command, according to Lt. Col. Blake G. Bowen, commander, 211th RSG.
Aca,!A"The 211th have done a great job here so far,Aca,!A? Bowen said. Aca,!A"They have an excellent commander and I believe they will be able to effectively continue what we have done here and improve what we have begun.Aca,!A?
The 211thRSG commander, Col. Richard C. Staats, returned praise to the 191st CSSB and commended their resourceful service.
Aca,!A"The 191st has done an excellent job,Aca,!A? said Staats. Aca,!A"Most of their personnel served multiple duties during their time here.Aca,!A?
Aca,!A"There is no greater statement that a warrior can hear than Aca,!Eoecome home, good and faithful servant. Job well done,Aca,!a,,cAca,!A? Staat said. Aca,!A"Certainly, the 191st can do that today.Aca,!A?
Among the duties the 211th RSG will perform on COB Speicher are facilitating the needs of Soldiers by working with American contractors to maintain a high quality of life for personnel.
Aca,!A"We will provide the best service we can to all of the people on Speicher,Aca,!A? said Medina. Aca,!A"We will provide information as fast as we can and facilitate their needs as fast as possible.Aca,!A?
For the 211th RSG command, the goal is not only to meet the standards set by the 191st, but to improve upon them.
Aca,!A"We want to accomplish the mission as safe as possible and improve the conditions if we can,Aca,!A? said Command Sgt. Maj. Abel Flores, command sgt. maj., 211th RSG and San Antonio native. Aca,!A"WeAca,!a,,cll work to make things better for Soldiers here and to improve the quality of life.Aca,!A?
A unit established during Sept. 2006, the 211th RSG is considered by many to be young. This fact, however, does not intimidate the unitAca,!a,,cs leadership.
Aca,!A"If you look on the right sleeves of the Soldiers of the 211th youAca,!a,,cll see a lot of operational experience,Aca,!A? said Staats. Aca,!A"ItAca,!a,,c not just the operational experience these Soldiers bring that benefits us. We have doctors, we have lawyers, we have nurses, we have bankers, we have CEOs, and they bring a wealth of experience to our mission.Aca,!A?
Relying upon his citizen SoldiersAca,!a,,c experience in combat, as well as their own professions in the civilian sector, 211th RSG leadership retains high confidence in their non-commissioned officers to lead the way.
Aca,!A"We have a lot of first time Soldiers but a majority of the command is made up of veterans who have combat experience,Aca,!A? said Flores. Aca,!A"I always rely on my NCOs to mentor and to guide our Soldiers for the mission ahead.Aca,!A?
The mission ahead, for Staats, is a proactive one in which the Soldiers of the 211th RSG will look to impress the Soldiers of Task Force Lightning exactly what they can do.
Aca,!A"One thing youAca,!a,,cll see from the hurricanes in the first 90 days is something I call TAC. ThatAca,!a,,cs transparency, accessibility and personal contact,Aca,!A? said Staats. Aca,!A"WeAca,!a,,cre going to have processes that are well understood and people are going to understand why decisions are made.Aca,!A?
Aca,!A"ItAca,!a,,cs going to be a serious and tough mission but weAca,!a,,cll be up to the challenge,Aca,!A? said Flores. Aca,!A"WeAca,!a,,cve trained for this and weAca,!a,,cre not only ready but weAca,!a,,cre looking forward to the mission.Aca,!A?
The 191st CSSB was activated Aug. 9, 2007 out of Salt Lake City, Utah and mobilized Feb. 26, 2008.