By U.S. ArmySeptember 15, 2016
The 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion was originally constituted on July 25, 1941 in the Regular Army as 7th Ordnance Battalion and later activated on August 1, 1941 in Birmingham, Alabama. The unit served in the Southeast Asian theater during World War II where it supported campaigns in India and Burma. Today, this history is featured in our battalion's distinctive unit insignia. The dharma chakra wheel represents our service in India, and the Burmese lion representing service in Burma. The battalion was inactivated on March 25, 1946 in India.
Over the years, the 7th Ordnance Battalion would be activated and inactivated several times, in Georgia, Germany, Florida, and Thailand. The battalion was re-designated as the 7th Maintenance Battalion on July 15, 1965 in Thailand. In 1986, the Battalion was active at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. In 1993, the battalion was re-designated as the 17th Corps Support Battalion. In July 2006, the 17th Corps Support Battalion was reorganized at Fort Richardson, Alaska. In October 2006, the unit was re-designated as the 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.
In July of 2007, the 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom to support the surge of forces in Iraq. The 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion provided logistics support to Multinational Forces-North for 15 months from FOB Q-West, redeploying in October of 2008. The battalion deployed to Afghanistan as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2010. The unit supervised the executions of logistics convoys supporting four regional commands across the area of operations, and played a critical role in maintaining continuity of support during the initial phases of the theater drawdown. In July 2014, the unit deployed to back to Afghanistan to support the CENTCOM Material Recovery Element, assisting with the closure of FOBs and the retrograde of equipment. The battalion redeployed to JBER in early 2015.
Today, the 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion is the largest battalion level formation in USARAK, operating out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and Fort Wainwright. Seven Companies and six detachments comprised of over 1200 Soldiers, provide logistics, financial, law enforcement, chemical detection, and musical support to the region. The Soldiers consistently rise to any challenge presented, exemplifying the battalion's motto, "Always Ready!"