By Daniel P. Elkins, Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs OfficeDecember 14, 2016
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- (Dec. 14, 2016) Authority for Expeditionary Contracting Command-Afghanistan transferred from the 419th Contracting Support Brigade to the 410th CSB during a Dec. 3 ceremony at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.
Officiating the ceremony was Maj. Gen. John Thomson, deputy commanding general for support for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan. Thomson also serves as the commander of Combined Joint Task Force 1-Afghanistan, and commander of the 1st Cavalry Division that is deployed in support of USFOR-A and the NATO Resolute Support mission. During the ceremony, he said that while the formations that make up the command and control elements for contracting are small, they pack a powerful punch that is critical to the campaign in Afghanistan.
"As we all know, operations in this theater are heavily reliant on contracting support. In fact, mission accomplishment would not happen without the expertise and oversight of ECC-A," he said. "Having worked closely with Colonel (Carol) Tschida and her magnificent team on a daily basis, I can unequivocally report that they are a combat multiplier and in many ways another warfighting function."
The deployment is the second for the 410th CSB, located at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Elements of the brigade were deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel from August 2015 to April 2016 following the transition of support to the warfighter from the U.S. Central Command Joint Theater Support Contracting Command to ECC-Afghanistan as the Army became the lead service for contracting.
The 410th CSB is being led by Col. Josh Burris and Command Sgt. Maj. Charles Williams. They will lead contracting support for more than 12,000 U.S. and coalition forces.
"It is an honor to lead ECC-A, and I pledge my service to … the professional civilians and Soldiers in the greatest expeditionary contracting support unit in the Army," Burris said during the ceremony. "Together, we will continue to provide on-time contracting support and dynamic oversight solutions to our warfighters; always mindful of the public's trust in our fiduciary responsibility."
Members of the 419th CSB have already began arriving back home at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, following their nine-month deployment. Tschida is due to return in the coming weeks. While deployed, the brigade administered an $18 billion contract portfolio in support of U.S. and coalition forces across 34 provinces in Afghanistan.
"It wasn't easy, and the deployment days were long. But, even though we were tired, we were never alone," Tschida told members of her brigade at the ceremony. "The 419th trained hard and stood ready. Like our acronym ECC-A, you were engaged, capable and committed - always, and I couldn't be more proud to be on your team. I am honored and humbled to have had the privilege to lead Expeditionary Contracting Command-Afghanistan, and I pray for the wisdom and the judgment necessary for Josh's team to continue to lead our outstanding Soldiers to successfully accomplish their mission."
Tschida will lead members of the brigade in an uncasing of organizational colors in a Feb. 2 ceremony at Fort Bragg.
The 419th CSB is a subordinate unit of the Mission and Installation Contracting Command at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. The brigade provides core contracting customer service through strategically aligned support to commands and installations. It is made up of approximately 250 Soldiers assigned to six installation-level contracting offices and three contracting battalions.