JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. — A change of command ceremony was held at the U.S. Army Transportation Museum here March 3.
The occasion marked a change in leadership, while highlighting the ongoing mission of the 689th Rapid Port Opening Element (RPOE) and the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC).
In the ceremony Maj. Dinh Tat relinquished her command, duties and authority to Maj. Timothy Shelby.
During his remarks, Lt. Col. Paul Reyes, commander, 832nd Transportation Battalion said Shelby is an exceptional transportation officer who will be taking on a successful unit.
The 689th Transportation Detachment (Rapid Port Opening Element) was activated on Oct. 16, 2008, as part of the 597th Transportation Brigade contingency response team. As the second of its kind, the unit wasted no time in joining the fight and has been providing strategic aerial port of debarkation and seaport of debarkation capabilities around the world ever since.
"We trust in you and we know you'll protect the pride," Reyes said, "You will be taking on a successful vanguard in the final chapter of the RPOE legacy."
Shelby most recently served as the Executive Officer for the 689th Rapid Port Opening Element. In his assumption of command comments, Shelby made clear his pledge to continue the excellence of the Vanguard Unit.
Under Maj. Tat's command, the 689th Rapid Port Opening Element set a new record and became the first RPOE in the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command history to deploy in nine hours, exceeding the 12-hour standard.
Tat will continue to ensure RPOE success as the Executive Officer for the 832nd Transportation Battalion, Reyes said.
At the end of the ceremony, the Soldiers sang the Army Song and proceeded to the U.S. Army Transportation Museum for a reception that was hosted by Maj. Shelby.
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.
Additionally, the command stands ready to provide surface rapid port opening capabilities via the Army’s only three Rapid Port Opening Elements in support of its global Joint Task Force Port Opening mission.