919th CBN leaders case colors for deployment
Lt. Col. Gregory Howard, left, and Sgt. Maj. Natasha McKellum, right, case the 919th Contracting Battalion colors in preparation for deployment during a ceremony Nov. 15 at Fort Bliss, Texas. Howard is the commander of the 919th CBN and director of Mission and Installation Contracting Command-Fort Bliss, and McKellum is battalion sergeant major. They are leading the battalion over the next nine months on a deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Ida Kian) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Nov. 17, 2022) -- Leaders from the 919th Contracting Battalion cased their organizational colors during a ceremony Nov. 15 at Fort Bliss, Texas, for a forthcoming deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

Lt. Col. Gregory Howard, commander of the 919th CBN and director of Mission and Installation Contracting Command-Fort Bliss, and Sgt. Maj. Natasha McKellum, battalion sergeant major, cased the colors before a crowd of fellow Soldiers, members of MICC, family and friends. Ceremony guests also included leaders from White Sands Missile Range, the Fort Bliss Garrison and Joint Modernization Command.

“Yesterday we cased our colors. I will say that it was the first time in six deployments that I got the opportunity to participate in a casing and could not be prouder to do it with this unit and this organization,” Howard said during a town hall with the unit. “It’s a time-honored tradition and conducting the casing of the colors with this unit makes it even more special for me personally. I look forward to our team heading out to execute our mission in support of Operation Inherent Resolve but look more forward to our return to our families and back to the mission here at Fort Bliss, because we still have a lot of work to do to get our organization where we want it to be.”

Howard added that over the next nine months, he hopes that each Soldier executing mission support will gain increased knowledge and experience to continue their individual growth as future contracting officers, leaders and Army acquisition professionals.

Once in place, 919th CBN members will provide mission command for contracting operations under the 408th Contracting Support Brigade.

The casing of the colors is an Army tradition that represents movement of the battalion to a new location. The colors travel with members of the battalion headquarters during the unit’s deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. During the ceremony, the 919th CBN also replaced the full color U.S. flag to the subdued flag on their Army Combat Uniforms. The switching of the flag signifies that the unit is transforming from garrison duty to combat duty in support of OIR.

Subordinate to the 418th CSB at Fort Hood, Texas, the 919th CBN and MICC-Fort Bliss executed 766 contract actions valued at $170 million in fiscal 2022, which ended Sept. 30. In addition, the contracting units administered almost 8,500 Government Purchase Card transactions valued at more than $15 million in support of installation mission needs.

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.