By 1st Lt. Mark Schneider, 16th Sustainment BrigadeApril 12, 2017
POWIDZ, Poland -- Task Force Rook, a multi-component sustainment battalion, recently deployed to Europe, achieved its 'Ready to Fight' status in 10 days based on its Soldiers, training, equipment, and mission readiness levels, April 7.
The 497th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion's (CSSB) Task Force Rook, comprised of Army Reserve formations from New York, Virginia, and Massachusetts, a National Guard formation from South Carolina, and regular Army formations from Colorado and Kentucky, deployed to Europe late March to provide sustainment support for the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, and organic U.S. Army Europe units' training with NATO Allies in Atlantic Resolve, an area spanning from the Baltics to the Black Sea.
"We have had sustainment companies from six different states fuse into one battalion, and we have spread that battalion across four locations in Eastern Europe," said Lt. Col. Coleman Johnson, Commander of the 497th CSSB and Task Force Rook. "We are looking forward to getting out on the road and executing missions."
Immediately after arriving to Europe, Task Force Rook initiated a relief-in-place transfer-of-authority (RIP-TOA) with the 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade.
"I have extreme pride in everyone and in everything that has been accomplished during the reception and integration of Task Force Rook. We have doubled our logistics capabilities for Atlantic Resolve to sustain a strong Europe," said Col. Michelle M.T. Letcher, Commander of the 16th Sustainment Brigade. "This transition of authority between the 18th CSSB and 497th CSSB has been seamless. I see constant communication among junior leaders, regardless of what unit patch they wear."
Task Force Rook is the first of many rotational, multi-component sustainment forces to support multi-national training exercises for Atlantic Resolve.
"Army Reserve and National Guard units have exceptionally cohesive units since their Soldiers often have years of experience working together," said Lt. Col. Robb Meert, Commander of the 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. "These two components also hold the majority of the U.S. Army's logistics capabilities. Deploying a total Army sustainment force to Europe, a force that can solely focus on the mission, allows for uninterrupted combat power generation."
Conducting real-world support missions in Europe every day provides the task force with experiences not as easily accessible in the United States. European rotations of forces stationed in the United States raises the collective readiness for Army sustainment.
"Task Force Rook has achieved its 'Ready to Fight' status, and is now able to conduct real-world support missions for regionally allocated forces," said Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Graham, 16th Sustainment Brigade Command Sergeant Major. "We need to keep our junior leaders engaged and ready as missions begin to flow to Task Force Rook."
Over the next nine months Task Force Rook will set the conditions for success for all future rotations of multi-component sustainment forces.