By Kristen WongOctober 28, 2016
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS - A former Alabama unit has ceremonially joined the U.S. Army Hawaii community after unfurling its colors, Oct. 25, 2016.
The 921st Contracting Battalion held an Uncasing and Re-Stationing Ceremony at Martinez Physical Fitness Center, here.
The two-year-old unit was activated aboard Wheeler Army Airfield, Oct. 16. It has seven contracting teams working under the battalion, three of which are in Hawaii, two in Alaska and two in Japan.
The battalion's mission is to provide supplies and services to the 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army Pacific Command - both in theater and on an expeditionary level.
"This is a significant increase by 100 percent of the brigade's capacity," said Col. Patrick J. Badar, commander, 413th Contracting Support Brigade, the parent command of 921st Contracting Bn. "Now we can deploy multiple locations throughout the (area of responsibility)."
Badar emphasized that the AOR encompasses more than 9,000 miles and that the brigade has provided support in missions such as disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.
Before becoming commander of the 413th, Badar previously served as deputy director of Technical Center, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, U.S. Army Strategic Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.
"This is a historical moment that many of us will recount for years," said Lt. Col. Daphne H. Austin, the commander of 921st Contracting Bn. "The uncasing of these colors today symbolizes the trust and confidence that Army Contracting Command has placed in the 413th Contracting Bde. and the 921st Contracting Bn."
Austin recognized the seven teams for their efforts in getting the unit ready by Oct. 16.
"The amount of work and effort invested into this battalion will not go unnoticed," she said. "That investment will provide a healthy return because the 921st will soon be among the most trained and ready entities in the history of Army Contracting Command. I am looking forward to our future together and watching all of our folks in the battalion soar to new heights. ... That experience for me will be priceless."
Austin, whose first duty station was Schofield Barracks, has returned after last serving as director of Mission and Installation Contracting Command in Fort Benning, Ga.
Two years ago, the 921st Contracting Bn. first activated in Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala. It was originally called the 921st Contingency Contracting Bn.
Its insignia bears American red, white and blue, along with numerous symbols, including a Redstone rocket to represent its origins in Alabama.
Three of the unit's contracting teams were instrumental during deployments in the last two years in the U.S. Central Command's AOR.
"We're all very excited to make the transition from Army Contracting Command to be an expeditionary contracting command," said Maj. Toney Brantley, the battalion S-3 operations officer for 921st Contracting Bn. "We look forward to being a force multiplier to the 25th Infantry Division and other associated USARPAC units."