FORT CARSON, Colo. — Soldiers, civilian employees, contractors, Families, friends and community members attended the Army Field Support Battalion-Carson (AFSBN) change of command ceremony June 30, 2022, at Manhart Field.
Although AFSBN-Carson first stood up in 2009, its predecessors can be traced back to the 1940s. Then, the Army hired technical experts, termed civilian master mechanics, with the purpose of conducting hardware and equipment repairs. In the 1950s the role of civilian master mechanics expanded to include teaching, advising and providing supply assistance, much like modern-day logistics readiness representatives.
Today, AFSBNs serve as the Army Materiel Command’s primary bridge between the generating and operating Army forces. They are designed to empower a supported division or brigade commander with all the strategic firepower that the nation’s industrial base can offer.
The battalion’s new commander is Lt. Col. Sarah Gilbert, who replaced Lt. Col. Angel R. Ortiz.
“You don’t find success without engaged leadership,” said Col. Jennifer Karim, commander, 407th Army Field Support Brigade, Army Sustainment Command, and the ceremony’s presiding official. “But, what does engaged leadership in an Army field support battalion look like? It is leadership that facilitates, strengthens, connects and inspires employees to increase their workplace engagement. Lt. Col. Ortiz emulates this and has produced remarkable results.”
Karim explained that during Ortiz’s tenure at AFSBN-Carson, the unit supported multiple brigade rotations to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, and deployed an 18-person team to Australia to support the largest bilateral combined training activity between the Australian Defense Force and the U.S. military. AFSBN-Carson also played a key role in establishing a task force at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, as the U.S. military closed its Afghanistan operations last year. During the past two years, the unit completed over 5,300 work orders in support of U.S. Army Garrison Fort Carson equipment and serviced over 1,300 items.
Among the unit’s many accomplishments, AFSBN-Carson’s Central Issue Facility (CIF) provided over 27,000 transactions for 9,000 Soldiers in just one year. Meanwhile, AFSBN-Carson also managed five operational dining facilities, which supported over 75,000 patrons monthly.
“Lt. Col. Ortiz has hit the mark on all these accomplishments and built AFSBN-Carson into a premier support organization,” Karim said. “He has led with distinction and achieved what all commanders aspire to do, which is leaving the unit better than what he inherited.”
Showing just how important the AFSBN is to the installation, many top Fort Carson leaders attended the ceremony, including Col. Nate Springer, commander, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Carson.
Gilbert is more than familiar with Fort Carson as she previously served as the brigade logistics officer and executive officer for the 64th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
She comes to the Mountain Post from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) headquarters at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, where she served in a joint assignment.
“We welcome Lt. Col. Gilbert as she is an outstanding leader who is familiar with the Fort Carson operation,” Karim said. “We will leverage her diverse background as we continue to solve hard problems and take this battalion to the next level.”
Gilbert holds a Master of Science degree in supply chain management and has earned the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service medals among others. While an officer with the 3rd ABCT, she deployed to both Kuwait and Poland.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to lead and to learn from the AFSBN-Carson team,” Gilbert said as she assumed command. “It’s already clear to me during these short 10 days, the incredible expertise that exists inside the unit and how much our team cares about the mission to support the Soldiers on this installation.”
After serving in the U.S. Army for 28 years, six months and 29 days, Ortiz is retiring from active-duty service.