JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Nov. 20, 2023) -- Members from the 918th Contracting Battalion and Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Fort Carson, Colorado, gathered for the ceremonial uncasing of the battalion’s colors Nov. 9 following its deployment to Romania in support of Operation European Assure, Deter and Reinforce.
The battalion headquarters element cased its colors in preparation for deployment in January 2023 to Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania, to provide theater contracting support as part of a U.S. commitment along with allies and partners allowing Ukraine to defend itself against Russian aggression.
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Lt. Col. Amy Saal, the 918th CBN commander, and Sgt. Maj. Angel Del Valle, the battalion sergeant major, uncased the colors during the ceremony before members of the unit and installation contracting office as well as leaders from the Army Contracting Command, MICC and 418th Contracting Support Brigade viewing virtually.
“Nine months ago, our headquarters embarked on a journey to add to the lineage of the 918th Contracting Battalion and its proud history of service to our nation,” Saal said.
Soldiers from the 918th CBN headquarters providing acquisition support for the 10th Mountain Division, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Bastogne, and many other organizations during its deployment rotation at MK Air Base in Romania.
“The battalion provided critical contracting support within (area of operations) Victory South to assure our NATO partners and allies, deter further Russian aggression, and reinforce NATO’s flank in eastern Europe,” she added. “In addition, the battalion also supported ongoing efforts in Ukraine by providing contract administration services in direct support of the Remote Maintenance and Distribution Center-Ukraine.”
Among the deployed accomplishments cited by the battalion commander were the workload management of 30 reoccurring contracts and administration of a Logistics Civil Augmentation Program portfolio valued at more than $120 million across 10 forward operating sites. Those efforts included direct support for Defender Europe 23, specifically Saber Guardian 23, where the contracting team delivered critical contracting services for five forward operating sites and two wet gap crossing locations in eastern Europe.
During its deployment, the battalion was augmented by Soldiers from two other MICC units, The included Maj. James Williamson, Maj. Quentin Sica, Master Sgt. Michael Tull and Sgt. 1st Class Igor Malyshev from the 925th CBN at Fort Drum, New York, as well as Capt. Monique Mitchell and Sgt. 1st Class Michelle Royall from the 901st CBN at Fort Cavazos, Texas.
“Without the additional support, mission success would not have been possible. Thank you for all your professionalism, hard work, and dedication to duty. It was truly an honor and a privilege to serve as your commander even for only a short time,” she said.
Saal concluded by thanking the Soldiers and civilian members of the 918th CBN who remained behind to continue providing the contracting support for its garrison mission partners as well as family members of those deployed.
“When the battalion returned from eastern Europe, we were welcomed by familiar faces, but many new faces as well. I appreciate everyone’s dedication to our supported units and loyalty to this organization during the battalion’s absence,” she said. “Lastly, I want to offer my sincerest gratitude to our families for continuing to remain steadfast. Your love and support are the driving force behind our service to the nation and sustain us during times of extended separation. As a mother, Soldier and an Army wife, I fully understand the difficulties firsthand in both departing and being the one that remains behind, so thank you again for your continued perseverance. It's truly good to be home.”