CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – Air Assault troopers from Fort Campbell, Kentucky,began arriving into the Middle East in early October, the 101st Division Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), integrating and collaborating with the 304th Sustainment Brigade, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.The 101st Div. Sust. Bde. ‘Lifeliners’ will soon provide mission command of the largest sustainment formation in our Army. The Lifeliners will manage tactical and operational-level sustainment for Army, Joint, Interagency, and Multinational Forces within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility in order to enable unified land operations in support of combatant command.“Our Brigade will be the first active duty brigade to assume this role in quite some time,” said Col. Peter Gilbert, commander, 101st Div. Sust. Bde. “The 101st Abn. Div. (Air Assault) has such a storied and legendary history, but we [the Lifeliners Brigade] look forward to writing our chapter in the history books; we are extremely excited for the opportunity and to be part of the “First Team” (1st Theater Sustainment Command) as well.“The 304th Sust. Bde. Soldiers and leadership have been consummate professionals over the past several months,” Gilbert continued. “Their transparency, openness, and professionalism have enabled our learning of the operational environment. We cannot thank them enough for their dedication and commitment to the mission ensuring we have all the tools required to sustain logistics operations.”In order for the outgoing unit to redeploy, the incoming unit and associated equipment must be in place and ready to assume responsibility. This type of swap out is referred to as RIP/TOA, meaning relief in place and transfer of authority.“We just performed a validation exercise to ensure the required in theater configurations allow our communication equipment to be mission capable,” said Capt. Norberto Perez, commander, 58th Signal Company, 101st Div. Sust. Bde. “This provides the brigade with mission command capabilities within its footprint, ensuring we are able to communicate across the battlefield.”The exercise validates the drills the Lifeliners’ Soldiers have been training on, while also ensuring the systems are adapted to the new environment.Both the 101st Div. Sust. Bde. and the 304th Sust. Bde. provide a range of sustainment capabilities including materiel management and transportation as well as command and control. For the sustainers who facilitated the RIP/TOA operation, their main goal is to ensure they get the supplies and equipment forward to the Soldiers who need them.“The most important thing about my job is the Soldiers and not only that but the logistical side as well and getting the supplies forward to those who need them the most,” said Sgt. Quayshaun Hopkins, an automated logistics sergeant, 227th Composite Supply Company, 101st Div. Sust. Bde.The Lifeliners have been preparing for this mission since returning to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, from supporting Operation Freedom Sentinel (OFS) Afghanistan in February 2019.“Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Campbell and I are extremely humbled to serve alongside these incredible men and women in such a storied division. Our Div. Sust. Bde. warriors are highly trained, disciplined and fit,” said Col. Peter L. Gilbert, commander, 101st Div. Sust. Bde. “Together we stand ready to fight and win anywhere, anytime, and under any conditions. Soldiers at every echelon are committed to supporting this important mission, and look forward to working alongside our regional security partners to reinforce conditions for long-term stability as the Middle East recalibrates.”The official transfer of authority ceremony is scheduled to take place in the upcoming weeks in which the Lifeliners’ will take the lead in working in coordination with joint, interagency, and multinational partners by providing contracting, distribution, and key logistical support through organic and contracted transportation assets in the U.S. Army Central Command area of responsibility.