FORT STEWART, Ga. – The 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade, “Heart of the Rock,” proudly supports the 3rd Infantry Division through Soldiers routinely executing sustainment functions within their units, either at home or abroad. Originally constituted at Fort Benning, Georgia, 3rd DSB has supported the “Rock of the Marne” since the Cold War, relocating to Germany with the division, and playing an essential role during important historical moments, such as the famous Thunder Run into Baghdad in 2003.
The 3rd DSB continues to demonstrate its capabilities through a variety of responsibilities, both in preparation for or during worldwide deployments, or the management of logistics agencies across Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield. The brigade is composed of two organic battalions: 87th Division Sustainment Support Battalion and Division Sustainment Troops Battalion, and the companies within these battalions each have a unique role in supporting the wider division. Key to sustaining all organizations across the installations are the “Base of the Pyramid” Soldiers of the 87th DSSB.
“The 87th DSSB supports all 3rd ID and tenant units through logistical support and we do it through our seven companies that are part of us,” said Sgt. 1st Class Sarah Tura, a maintenance control supervisor assigned to 87th DSSB. “I believe it [87th DSSB] is the heart of 3rd ID because we get things from here to there, whether it’s for the Soldier or the equipment to be ready for deployment.”
The mission of Company A, 87th DSSB, is to provide essential assets like fuel, water and material supply. Each unit wouldn't be equipped to complete their mission without these necessities and Company A works with other division units to support home station or off-station training to ensure mission readiness.
“Alpha Company is our Supply Support Activity (SSA), which ships and receives our parts and can also take in repairable parts that can give money back to the Army,” said Tura.
They operate the only SSA warehouse on Fort Stewart. It is treated as units’ local department store, supplying everything from paper to military vehicles. When Soldiers are deployed, there is a cross of responsibilities with civilian employees to continue supporting troops left in the rear. They coordinate with commercial shipping, Defense Logistics Agency, and other warehouses.
“Currently, we support 13 battalions and 87th DSSB is one of our main customers,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Nadia Dossous, a Soldier assigned to Company A, 87th DSSB. “So without us, they wouldn’t be able to function because we are the only one that supplies them.”
Company A also has water treatment specialists so they can supply units with water.
“So we provide the water to drink, shower and make food. We kind of tie in to all the [military occupational specialties] as one,” said Cpl. Desiree Fryerson, a water treatment specialist assigned to Company A, 87th DSSB. “We help sustain. We compliment fuel with water. Without us, they really couldn't get their missions done.”
Company B’s assigned tasks from 3rd ID guarantee that units will receive repair assistance. Between automotives; ground support equipment (GSE); armaments; communication and electronics; and the test, measurement, diagnostic equipment (TMDE) services, equipment readiness standards are met. These different tasks include repair work across 360 distinct unit identification codes, vehicle services, inspections, software updates, and more.
Sgt. 1st Class Taylor Jones, a mechanical maintenance supervisor assigned to 87th DSSB, mentions that when the company is on a deployment, the division would have a backlog of maintenance and repair work, so it is essential for these Soldiers to be skilled enough to help units with limited resources and prevent services from being delayed.
“Bravo company has a big impact when it comes to division maintenance,” said Jones.
Company C, the unit’s composite truck company, has nearly 300 Soldiers that provide transportation support to 3rd ID. They provide fundamental support in sustainment operations and deployed units.
“Charlie Company is a melting pot of operators, talented Soldiers and heavy equipment,” said Sgt. 1st Class Wayne St. Croix, a motor transport operator assigned to 87th DSSB. “That’s what I think makes us unique and allows us to better support the 3rd ID.”
They are known to conduct a variety of responsibilities and a few include: working with the SSA, accelerated movement of heavy equipment to troops, delivery of supplies to other military installations and platform security. Ultimately, they are in charge of executing operations involving the entire Army and combined forces.
“The 24th Ordnance Company is a modular ordnance company and we specialize in accounting, receiving, issuing, and storing of ammunition for the division,” said 1st Sgt. Steven Choat, assigned to 24th Ordnance Company, 87th DSSB. “We have the ability to store up to multiple divisions worth of ammunition in an austere environment and we are capable of operating on our own.”
This company ensures units have the ammunition they need to train and fight. The 24th Ordnance Company also works with other companies to make sure they have their required material handling equipment and provides the division’s own firefighters that train regularly with the installation’s Department of Emergency Services.
The 135th Quartermaster Company maintains the fueling capabilities. The petroleum laboratory specialists test the quality surveillance system that is sent directly to the lab from the fuel farm or from the filter effectiveness testing. It is important to deliberately evaluate petroleum products before distribution to other units.
“Our Petroleum Quality Analysis System-Enhanced (PQAS-E) is the only lab within the division,” said Warrant Officer Marquis Hamilton, a petroleum system technician assigned to 135th Quartermaster Company, 87th DSSB. “So we complete the filter effectiveness testing of all systems to ensure the fuel going out to infantry units is of good quality.”
The 3rd ID is the “Hammer of the XVIII Airborne Corps,” which means its units regularly deploy to support combatant commands all over the world, assisting allies and partners in a wide range of environments and missions. The 3rd DSB sustainment capabilities enable these units to accomplish these important missions.
This is what it means to be the “Heart of the Rock.”