JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - Maj. Gen. Luis R. Visot, commanding general of the 377th Theater Sustainment Command out of New Orleans, toured the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) logistic facilities and talked to leaders and Soldiers Aug. 20 at Joint Base Balad.

Following a meeting between Brig. Gen. Paul L. Wentz, commanding general of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Visot began his tour. He focused conversations on the drawdown in logistic and personnel forces from Iraq in the next year.
One unit visited, the 80th Ordnance Battalion out of Fort Lewis, Wash., is preparing for a busy year due to, in large part, the ongoing drawdown.

The 80th's mission is to provide logistic support to Multi-National Corps - Iraq forces by operating major distribution activities on JBB at the corps storage area, joint distribution center, central receiving and shipping point and the forward redistribution point.
Additionally, the 80th provides maintenance and water and cargo handling support at contingency operating locations throughout the 13th's area of operation.
"We are trying to bring as much of the logistic assets on JBB home as possible to assist with the reduction of force," said Maj. Bryan W. Ryder, executive officer of the 80th.
Visot then toured the CRSP yard and received a brief from leaders of the 159th Seaport Operations Company out of Fort Story, Va. He also handed out several command coins to Soldiers at the CRSP yard for their hard work and dedication to the mission.

The visit was highlighted by Visot pinning rank on three Soldiers from the 910th Quartermaster Company, out of Ardmore, Okla., who were recently promoted. He said he was glad to spend quality time with the Soldiers because it shows that senior officers have not forgotten what the Soldiers do in theater.

"I'll take a lot out of my visit to JBB," said Visot. "The most helpful part is recognizing the tremendous challenge that we have as logisticians. It helps to raise the situational awareness back in the states and helps me prepare for the next unit's scope of responsibility as they get ready to deploy into theater."

The day ended with a dinner in which Visot addressed the guests.
"The reward for all your hard work is being able to come home to your family and loved ones and knowing that you have made a difference in the sovereign country of Iraq," he said.
In keeping with the theme for 2009 as the year of the noncommissioned officer, Visot encouraged all NCOs to continue to coach, teach, mentor, train and lead.

"Recognize the importance of value each Soldier brings, and remember that each person has volunteered to enlist and that adds value to the Army," he said.