923rd Contracting Battalion cases colors for European deployment

By Daniel P. Elkins, Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs OfficeAugust 11, 2022

923rd Contracting Battalion cases colors for European deployment
Lt. Col. Randy Garcia, center, and Sgt. Maj. Keita Lyles furl the 923rd Contracting Battalion colors for casing as colors bearer Staff Sgt. Alisha Budhathoki looks on during a ceremony Aug. 10 at Fort Riley, Kansas. Garcia is the 923rd CBN commander, and Lyles is the battalion sergeant major. Budhathoki is a contract specialist with the battalion. (Photo Credit: Maj. Mark Mayor) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Aug. 11, 2022) -- Leaders from the 923rd Contracting Battalion cased their organizational colors during a ceremony Aug. 10 at Fort Riley, Kansas, for a forthcoming deployment to Romania in support of European allies and partners.

Once arriving in Europe, they will be joined by Soldiers from the 922nd CBN from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to provide contingency contracting support.

Lt. Col. Randy Garcia, the 923rd CBN commander, and Sgt. Maj. Keita Lyles, the battalion sergeant major, cased the colors before a crowd of fellow Soldiers, members of Mission and Installation Contracting Command-Fort Riley, family and friends also broadcast virtually for Army Contracting Command leaders.

During remarks, Garcia addressed the battalion’s call to action in support of Operation Assure, Deter and Reinforce, which is part of the U.S. Secretary of State’s response to the invasion of Ukraine.

“Twelve months ago we uncased the colors signifying the return from our deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Our nation has called on us again, and you raised your hand and said ‘send me,’” the commander said. “We are honored to lead America's top 1% to Europe in support of our NATO partners. The price of freedom isn’t free, but when you wear the cloth of our nation, it’s an implied task.”

Related: 923rd CBN uncases colors following return from deployment

He also took the opportunity to thank the spouses for their support of those Soldiers deploying forward.

“It takes someone special to be an Army spouse. You pick up your lives to move with your Soldier; deployments, you support and raise your families -- often fulfilling the role of both parents,” Garcia said. “You make a home out of a house at every post so that we can accomplish the mission. You maintain the ‘readiness’ in our families so we can be ready when the nation calls.”

923rd Contracting Battalion cases colors for European deployment
Lt. Col. Randy Garcia speaks with members of his organization during a colors casing ceremony Aug. 10 at Fort Riley, Kansas. Garcia, commander of the 923rd Contracting Battalion, is leading the battalion during a deployment to Romania in support of NATO operations. (Photo Credit: Maj. Mark Mayor) VIEW ORIGINAL

He went on to express his confidence in Maj. Sheila Banks, Tony Tiroch and Master Sgt. Michael France to continue to lead contracting operations at Fort Riley during the battalion’s deployment, adding “together they will continue to achieve greatness.”

In addition to providing operational and contingency contracting support, the battalion while in garrison along with MICC-Fort Riley is aligned to provide contracting for the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley Garrison as well as other supported units across the installation. The organization, which is subordinate to the 418th Contracting Support Brigade, awarded contracts valued at more than $119 million in fiscal 2021 through the execution of 941 actions both in garrison and during two deployments to Kuwait and Jordan in support of the U.S. Central Command.

About the MICC

Headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-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. As part of its mission, 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.