410th Contracting Support Brigade welcomes new commander
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Col. Daphne Austin accepts the 410th Contracting Support Brigade colors from Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler during a change-of-command ceremony June 8 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Austin assumed command of the 410th CSB from Col. Robert McDonald during the ceremony officiated by Beeler, the incoming commanding general for the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. McDonald departs Fort Sam Houston to serve as the military deputy for contracting operations with the U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida. (Photo Credit: Daniel P. Elkins) VIEW ORIGINAL
410th Contracting Support Brigade welcomes new commander
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers from the 410th Contracting Support Brigade, family members, military leaders and distinguished guests came together to welcome a new brigade commander and honor the achievements of the outgoing commander during a ceremony June 8 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. . Col. Daphne Austin assumed command of the brigade from Col. Robert McDonald during the ceremony officiated by Beeler, the incoming commanding general for the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Daniel P. Elkins) VIEW ORIGINAL
410th Contracting Support Brigade welcomes new commander
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Col. Daphne Austin accepts the 410th Contracting Support Brigade colors from Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler during a change-of-command ceremony June 8 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Austin assumed command of the 410th CSB from Col. Robert McDonald during the ceremony officiated by Beeler, the incoming commanding general for the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. McDonald departs Fort Sam Houston to serve as the military deputy for contracting operations with the U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida. (Photo Credit: Daniel P. Elkins) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (June 9, 2018) -- Members of the 410th Contracting Support Brigade welcomed their new commander during a change-of-command ceremony June 8 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

Col. Daphne Austin assumed command of the brigade from Col. Robert McDonald in a ceremony officiated by Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler, the incoming commanding general for the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

410th Contracting Support Brigade welcomes new commander
Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler conducted a medal presentation ceremony before officiating the 410th Contracting Support Brigade change-of-command ceremony June 8 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Col. Daphne Austin assumed command of the brigade from Col. Robert McDonald during the ceremony officiated by Beeler, the incoming commanding general for the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Daniel P. Elkins) VIEW ORIGINAL

Following the traditional passing of organizational colors from McDonald to Austin, Beeler commended the outgoing commander for his leadership and achievements during his time with the 410th CSB before welcoming its new leader.

“I stand before a brigade that has consistently delivered for the nation at home and around the globe. Your magnificent teamwork serves as a model for the entire Army contracting enterprise. We are thankful for the proven bravery and outstanding leadership of Colonel Robert ‘Mack’ McDonald, tested and triumphant in the crucible of 36 months of brigade command,” Beeler said. “We welcome Colonel Daphne Austin, abundant in competence, confidence, character and commitment, who is without a doubt prepared for this opportunity and this command.”

Austin comes to the 410th CSB following her assignment as the Mission and Installation Contracting Command chief of staff the past year. After thanking Beeler for officiating the ceremony and her family and parents for their support throughout her 23 years of service, Austin said she is honored to lead the brigade.

410th Contracting Support Brigade welcomes new commander
Col. Daphne Austin expresses her gratitude for the opportunity to lead the 410th Contracting Support Brigade during a change-of-command ceremony June 8 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Austin assumed command of the brigade to Col. Robert McDonald in the ceremony officiated by Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler, the incoming commanding general for the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. McDonald departs Fort Sam Houston to serve as the military deputy for contracting with the U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida. (Photo Credit: Daniel P. Elkins) VIEW ORIGINAL
“I am indeed proud to serve as your commander. I will do my very best to lead in a way that distinguishes this brigade as the top-notch warfighter enabler that it is, (and) also amplify that our people are the most important asset of this organization,” Austin said. “We win by taking care of our people, looking up and out and down and in. That means understanding executing in accordance with our higher commander’s intent, while also understanding our roles in delivering the most quality service and support.”

Austin was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Signal Corps through the Army ROTC program at Columbus State University in 1998 and served a number of operational assignments before joining the Army Acquisition Corps in 2007. She has since served in acquisition positions of increasing responsibility as well as deployments to Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.

McDonald led the brigade through numerous missions, exercises and contract executions since July 2018. He simultaneously commanded ACC-Afghanistan during a nine-month deployment in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

During the ceremony, McDonald acknowledged the last three years of brigade have been both gratifying and challenging.

410th Contracting Support Brigade welcomes new commander
Col. Robert McDonald acknowledges the efforts by members of the 410th Contracting Support Brigade during a change-of-command ceremony June 8 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. McDonald relinquished command of the brigade to Col. Daphne Austin in the ceremony officiated by Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler, the incoming commanding general for the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. McDonald departs Fort Sam Houston to serve as the military deputy for contracting with the U.S. Special Operations Command. (Photo Credit: Daniel P. Elkins) VIEW ORIGINAL

“The 410th with its unique mission of supporting U.S. Army South, U.S. Southern Command and all the other elements within Central and South America coupled with a deployment to Afghanistan and an ongoing pandemic would challenge even the best of leaders,” McDonald said. “What made it successful and easy at times were the Soldiers and civilians within the command. They did it with professionalism and competence.”

Those achievements by the brigade during McDonald’s tenure include the execution of 4,800 contract actions valued at more than $264 million; the acquisition support of 25 exercises focused on joint-nation partnerships, stability and shaping events; and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

410th Contracting Support Brigade welcomes new commander
Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler presents Col. Robert McDonald with the Legion of Merit June 8 for his expertise, leadership and professionalism in the overall success of the 410th Contracting Support Brigade prior to officiating the unit’s change-of-command ceremony June 8 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Col. Daphne Austin assumed command of the brigade from McDonald during the ceremony. Beeler is the incoming commanding general for the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. McDonald departs Fort Sam Houston to serve as the military deputy for contracting with the U.S. Special Operations Command. (Photo Credit: Daniel P. Elkins) VIEW ORIGINAL

McDonald departs for his next assignment as the military deputy for procurement with the U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida. Prior to the 410th CSB change of command, Beeler awarded McDonald the Legion of Merit for his expertise, leadership and professionalism in the overall success of the unit’s mission directly enabling the capabilities and long-term posture of the United States, NATO and Afghanistan National Defense Security Forces. She also presented certificates of appreciation to his wife, Barbara, and daughter, Hannah.

The 410th CSB is responsible for the planning and execution of contingency contracting support for Army South in support of Army and joint operations throughout the SOUTHCOM area of responsibility.