JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (July 23, 2020) -- Leaders from the 418th Contracting Support Brigade officially uncased their organizational colors signaling their return home from deployment prolonged by COVID-19 to Afghanistan during a ceremony July 22 at Fort Hood, Texas.Col. Joel Greer and Command Sgt. Maj. Barrett Taylor uncased the colors following a deployment as the command element of Army Contracting Command-Afghanistan in a ceremony officiated by Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler, the commanding general for the Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas.The deployment was the brigade’s third since its activation in July 2013. Leaders from the 418th CSB cased their colors in August 2019 for a nine-month deployment to serve as the command and control of Army Contracting Command-Afghanistan and provide operational contracting support for American forces, NATO allies and coalition partners in Afghanistan to meet the mission needs of our combatant commanders. The deployment was extended more than two months due to the coronavirus pandemic as Army leaders developed plans for the safe movement of forces returning home in order to prevent the further spread of the virus.“As one of the Army’s premier contracting organizations, the brigade’s motto of ‘warfighters first’ exemplifies what the 418th focused on while in Afghanistan,” Beeler said, adding that the welcome home was particularly fond after being away from family and friends for 11 months. “The men and women of the brigade provided materiel readiness to the U.S. forces and our allies to accomplish their missions.”While deployed, the brigade administered a contract portfolio in support of 43,000 U.S. and coalition forces across 27 operating locations in Afghanistan. The 418th CSB stood up over-the-horizon operations that were embedded with U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and U.S. Central Command forward headquarters and was also instrumental in executing COVID-19 requirements to quickly bolster testing and medical treatment capacity across the theater. Its execution of 16 contracts helped protect the force and mitigate the impact of the virus on operations in Afghanistan, including the acquisition of 3,000 N-95 masks to Craig Hospital.Soldiers from the 418th CSB also conducted contract management reviews that resulted in more than $197 million in cost avoidance while reducing the number of contractor personnel by 2,200 members while deployed.“Without a doubt, our contracting professionals were an indispensable partner in equipping, sustaining and enabling the warfighter,” Beeler said. “With the collective contributions of every 418th member – on Fort Hood as well as those who deployed forward to Afghanistan – this brigade sets the example for every contracting brigade across the army to emulate.”The brigade’s deployment was in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel, which encompasses two missions in support of the Afghan government and its people. U.S. armed forces continue to train, advise and assist Afghan security forces as part of NATO's Resolute Support Mission. OFS also aims to help secure and build upon gains as a follow-on to Operation Enduring Freedom.About the MICC:Headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,500 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon. MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, facilitate training in the preparation of more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.Mission and Installation Contracting Commandwww.army.mil/micc/Video: MICC missionhttps://youtu.be/uhuNwQyZPRQ?list=PL172IrLlxO_V8dnaKMnhRX5m217z5g9qhLike us on Facebookwww.facebook.com/army.miccConnect with us on LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/company/mission-and-installation-contracting-commandFind more images on Flickrhttps://flic.kr/s/aHsm1oebXeVideo: MICC YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaqWACVCyoIYlsXeaT2hpxw