Virginia National Guard Takes Over Poland Sustainment Mission

By Sgt. 1st Class Jason Hull, 3rd Division Sustainment BrigadeMarch 15, 2024

U.S. Army Reserve Lt. Col. Carlos Maldonado, the commander of the 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, and Command Sgt. Maj. David Elliot, the battalion's senior enlisted advisor, uncase their unit colors during a transfer of authority ceremony in Powidz, Poland, March 11, 2024.
U.S. Army Reserve Lt. Col. Carlos Maldonado, the commander of the 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, and Command Sgt. Maj. David Elliot, the battalion's senior enlisted advisor, uncase their unit colors during a transfer of authority ceremony in Powidz, Poland, March 11, 2024. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Demetrysean Lewis) VIEW ORIGINAL

POWIDZ, Poland - The Virginia National Guard’s 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion unfurled its organizational colors and took responsibility for logistics, maintenance and supply missions from the Army Reserve’s 787th CSSB March 11 at Forward Operating Site Powidz.

“We are proud to continue sustaining operations,” said Lt. Col. Carlos Maldonado, the commander of the 529th. “To the Soldiers of Task Force Cavalier, our time is now. The opportunity is here. I have full confidence that you will continue to perform at the highest level. I am always proud and humbled to have the opportunity to stand here as ‘Cavalier 6.’”

After the outgoing unit furled its colors, Maldonado and Command Sgt. Maj. David Elliott, the senior enlisted leader of the 529th CSSB, unfurled their colors, symbolizing the unit’s arrival and assumption of the sustainment mission.

The 787th and 529th deployed as part of a rotation of forces assigned to V Corps, supporting operations and training for collective defense and regional security in Europe. The Soldiers enable multinational training that increases military interoperability between the United States and its NATO allies and partners to deter aggression on the continent.

They serve under the 3rd Infantry Division’s 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade, which leads a force of Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard Soldiers providing critical support across as many as 13 countries.

“As the only rotational sustainment force assigned to V Corps, we contribute to our nation’s steadfast presence here, reinforcing longstanding commitments on NATO’s Eastern flank for collective defense and regional security,” Col. Jennifer McDonough, commander of the 3rd DSB, told the two units assembled in the post chapel for the ceremony. “We are grateful for your service and sacrifices.”

Known as Task Force Grizzly and led by Lt. Col. Jeoffrey Hall and Command Sgt. Maj. Clint Halstead, the 787th CSSB colors now return to Dothan, Alabama. While deployed and headquartered at FOS Powidz, the battalion provided command and control of more than 600 Soldiers at six forward operating sites throughout the Central European and Baltic nations.

The battalion managed hundreds of sustainment convoys and missions, traveling hundreds of thousands of kilometers, transporting hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment and parts, and delivering millions of gallons of fuel. The unit employed a new Army concept of surge maintenance support to brigade combat teams, enhancing the readiness of units poised to respond to contingencies in the region.

The Soldiers managed multiple supply support activity points and collected logistics intelligence to inform future missions.

“The mission set before you is fluid and complex,” Hall advised the incoming unit’s Soldiers. “Stay flexible and stay focused. Never lose sight of that Soldier in the field that’s awaiting that part, that piece of equipment, that fuel, food or water. May your time here be as professionally rewarding and personally fulfilling as it was for us.”

Members of the 529th, dubbed Task Force Cavalier, bid farewell to friends and families and cased their colors in a ceremony at their home station of Virginia Beach Jan. 28. The Soldiers trained at Fort Cavazos, Texas, until Feb. 16 to validate their readiness for the mission.

Earlier, the Cavalier Soldiers certified on small arms and machine gun live-fire ranges and rehearsed tactical task proficiencies at Fort Barfoot, Virginia. The 529th also demonstrated its readiness in the Army’s premier crucible training experience at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Louisiana last summer. The battalion managed a division support area for the Hawaii National Guard’s 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, providing command, control and supplies for more than 400 National Guard Soldiers from five states.

This is the fourth federal active-duty deployment for the 529th CSSB since it was federally recognized in 2009, with previous missions to Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.

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