By Jean DubielOctober 3, 2007
FORT POLK, La. (Army News Service, Oct. 3, 2007) - Fort Polk made history yesterday with the activation of the 1st Combat Support Brigade (Maneuver Enhancement) - a new and unique Army unit.
The 1st CSB is the first unit of its kind in the active-duty Army. The Army Reserve recently activated similar units in Missouri, New Mexico and North Carolina.
"The Army has recognized that we need a staff that is developed and organized to accomplish multifunctional operations in an integrated way. That's what the 1st Combat Support Brigade represents," said Maj. Gen. William H. McCoy, commanding general of the U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center and commandant of the U.S. Army Engineer School at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. "It is the first of our active units to activate over the course of the next several years."
The 1st CSB is a self-sustaining command and control center capable of holding ground and unifying terrain and air-space management. These tasks - along with force and route protection, infrastructure development and rear-area operations - support deployed combat teams in theater, negating the need to deploy separate, larger units to perform these functions.
As the 1st CSB activated along with its two companies, so did the 88th Brigade Support Battalion and its three companies. Under the umbrella of 1st CSB and with the support of the new battalion and companies, other subordinate units can be attached as needed, such as explosive ordnance disposal, military police, engineers and air defense.
"The hallmark of this unit is its multifunctional capabilities that make it a highly-valued organization in both the active and Reserve components," said Maj. Gen. McCoy. "The combat support brigade is a mission-tailored force that conducts support area and maneuver-support operations and consequence management to ensure the mobility, freedom of action and protection of the forces they support."
The Army is expected to activate 23 CSBs by 2012 - four active-duty, 16 in the National Guard and three in the Reserve, according to Maj. Gen. McCoy.
"The flexibility and adaptability of this unit is representative of the characteristics and qualities of the Soldiers that make up the core competencies of the unit itself," said Maj. Gen. McCoy. "This unit will always be at the heart of critically important missions that defend our nation. (This activation) is a significant milestone ... opening a new chapter in the Army's history of transforming to meet the operational requirements necessary to defend our nation."
(Jean Dubiel is the Fort Polk "Guardian" editor.)