JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. — U.S. Army Maj. Aaron Edmonds assumed command of the 689th Rapid Port Opening Element during a Change of Command Ceremony at the U.S. Army Transportation Museum here Nov. 10.
During the opening remarks, Lt. Col. David Walters, commander, 832nd Transportation Battalion, recognized the outgoing commander Maj. Sophia Reclosado for leading the 689th RPOE through the past 25 months.
"You made the impossible possible," Walters said, "You never failed to train and got creative during the pandemic while maintaining the requirement to keep the troops socially distanced and safe."
Next, Walters reflected on the RPOE mission and what the RPOE Soldiers go through while on ready alert status.
As the surface piece of U.S. Transportation Command’s Joint Task Force - Port Opening the RPOEs deploy as part of a joint expeditionary logistics force to establish a port of debarkation and a forward distribution node. As they are part of the Global Response Force, one RPOE is always on alert and ready to deploy for aerial port operations within 12 hours.
The 597th Transportation Brigade is a part of the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, responsible for integrating and synchronizing surface deployment and distribution capabilities in the Continental U.S, deploying and sustaining the Armed Forces off the East and Gulf coasts in support of global operations and U.S. Southern Command.