JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Dec. 8, 2022) -- Leaders from the 902nd Contracting Battalion cased their organizational colors signaling the end of their deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve during a ceremony Dec. 8 at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
The ceremony served as a transfer of authority between the Mission and Installation Contracting Command’s 902nd CBN from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, to the MICC’s 919th CBN from Fort Bliss, Texas.
Related video: Transfer of authority ceremony
Officiating the ceremony was Col. Justin DeArmond, commander of the 408th Contracting Support Brigade at Camp Arifjan.
“We could have not asked for a better group of Soldiers, Airmen and civilians to execute an important and challenging mission,” DeArmond said. “Your team’s supporting role to the only theater where troops are in potential contact on a daily basis can’t be underestimated. It’s not the number of actions or amount of dollars … spent, but it’s the relationships you’ve developed these past nine months that have paid dividends in making your tour successful.”
Soldiers led by Lt. Col. Juan Villatoro and Sgt. Maj. Beethoven Jacques from the 902nd CBN deployed in March 2022 to provide regional contracting support for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. Lt. Col. Gregory Howard, commander of the 919th CBN and director of MICC-Fort Bliss, and Sgt. Maj. Natasha McKellum cased their colors in November to assume that mission.
Villatoro took the opportunity to recognize his outgoing team of eight Soldiers for their accomplishment and thank the families of those deployed for their support.
“We couldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for the collaborative partnerships we had at all levels,” Villatoro said. “To my team, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of professionals to serve with. Our strength was to get the mission accomplished and taking care of one another.”
Howard said he looks forward to supporting the mission and thanked Soldiers from the 902nd CBN team for setting up his battalion for success through a seamless transition.
“I look forward to maintaining and building the relationships with all of the units and organizations that we support for OIR,” Howard said. “Additionally, I look forward to meeting and supporting all four of our regional contracting offices who make up a combination of acquisition professionals from the Army, Air Force and (Defense Contract Management Agency) as they are all doing great things in their respective areas.”
Prior to the ceremony, members of the 902nd CBN were presented the Army Meritorious Service Medal for their contingency contracting support for ongoing operations.
CJTF-OIR is responsible for advising, assisting and enabling partner forces until they can independently defeat Daesh in designated areas of Iraq and Syria to establish long-term security cooperation frameworks. The coalition’s mission shifted from combat to one of support for partner forces at the operational and strategic levels. CJTF-OIR works closely with local, regional and international actors in Iraq and designated areas of Syria to stabilize areas of conflict and work toward enduring security partnerships.
About the MICC
Headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,300 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.