By Daniel P. Elkins, Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs OfficeJune 15, 2016
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- (June 14, 2016) Command of the 410th Contracting Support Brigade here changed hands in a June 13 ceremony at the Army Medical Department Center and School Museum Medal of Honor Walk.
Col. Josh Burris assumed command from Col. Rick Harger in a ceremony officiated by Brig. Gen. Michael Hoskin, the Expeditionary Contracting Command commanding general.
Hoskin highlighted the 410th CSB's accomplishments under Harger's command and then set expectations for Burris.
"It is your task to continue to lead this exceptional organization and build upon a ready, transparent and accountable brigade that is built on trust and respect," Hoskin said during the ceremony. "You have an immense responsibility to provide contracting support … to counter transnational threats and strengthen regional security in defense of the homeland."
Burris comes to the 410th CSB after serving as the Mission and Installation Contracting Command deputy chief of staff as well as Army lead and executive director for the Operational Contract Support Joint Exercise 2016. Prior to that, he served as commander of the 905th Contracting Battalion in support of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
"It is an honor to lead the 410th and I pledge my service to the professional civilians and Soldiers in the greatest contracting support brigade in the Army," Burris said. "Together, we will continue to provide contracting solutions to our customer's whole-of-government security cooperation and combatant command support agent requirements, always mindful of the public's trust in our fiduciary responsibility."
Burris was commissioned as a Regular Army Quartermaster Officer upon graduation from North Georgia College in 1993 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. He earned a Master of Business Administration from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2006. A 2011 graduate of the Darden School of Business Commercial Business Environment course, Burris will also complete a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College next month. He entered the Army Acquisition Corps in 2001.
The change of command comes approximately a month following the return of the brigade headquarters staff from its nine-month deployment as the command and control element of Expeditionary Contracting Command-Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel and as they prepare to enter a historically busy season in the final quarter of the fiscal year.
During the ceremony, Harger spoke of the budgetary, workforce and government shutdown challenges the brigade has endured over three years.
"One thing has remained, and will remain constant, just like it has during the last three years," Harger said. "The 410th CSB will continue to provide premier contracting support."
Harger also spoke on the brigade's execution of more than $370 million in obligations over more than 4,000 contract actions as well as its operation support for Operation United Assistance, Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Freedom's Sentinel.
"None of this would have been possible without the dedication, desire and expertise of the Soldiers, civilians and contractors that make up the 410th Contracting Support Brigade," he said. "Over the past three years, even though Soldiers, civilians and contractors have come and went, the 410th fabric has remained a wonderful, colorful combination of nationalities, ethnic backgrounds and experiences, not to mention contracting acumen and expertise."
Harger departs for an assignment as the military science adviser for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, after having served as the commander of the 410th CSB since June 2013.
Located at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the 410th CSB is made up of approximately 70 Soldiers and 50 civilian employees assigned to the brigade headquarters staff, 916th Contracting Battalion, Regional Contracting Center-Americas, and regional contracting offices in Miami, Soto Cano, Honduras, Bogota and Guantanamo Bay. The brigade also provides contracting oversight of the RCO-Key West, Florida. In fiscal 2015, the 410th CSB executed more than 2,000 contracts valued at more than $114 million.
The brigade is responsible for planning and executing contingency contracting support for the U.S. Army South in support of Army and joint operations throughout the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility. It is a subordinate command to the ECC at Redstone Arsenal near Huntsville, Ala.