By Ms Barbara A Toner (AMC)June 17, 2011
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. " Soldiers and civilians of the 404th Army Field Support Brigade took part in a change of command June 15 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., during which Col. George Akin relinquished control of the brigade to Col. Leafaina Yahn.
Maj. Gen. Yves Fontaine, Army Sustainment Command’s commanding general, presided over the ceremony, which also featured the 555th (“Triple Nickel”) Engineer Brigade Color Guard and the I Corps Band.
Before the ceremony, Akin received the Legion of Merit for his accomplishments as the brigade’s commander. He thanked the 404th AFSB personnel for their hard work during the last two years. He told them the 404th could not have accomplished what it did without the dedication of the Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and contractors who are a part of the brigade’s team.
“You were always out there, carrying the Materiel Enterprise and ASC messages to the school houses, at the pre-command courses, sustainment commander’s forums, to I Corps and units in the Pacific. You were a great advocate for ASC, telling others about the importance of our missions, capabilities and our people,” Fontaine said of Akin.
Akin will be retiring from the Army to join his wife, Brig. Gen. Robin Akin, who is going to Korea to take the position of deputy assistant chief of staff, C-4/J-4, and the deputy commanding general for support, Eighth U.S. Army.
Yahn, a native of American Samoa, took the cool, cloudy northwestern weather in stride as she, Akin, and Fontaine waited patiently to march onto the Watkins Parade Field at JBLM. Her husband, Rocky Yahn, a retired Chief Warrant Officer 4, received a 404th AFSB shirt and her mother, Lauolive Toomalatai Tavai, was presented with a rose as gifts from the brigade. Other members of Yahn’s family traveled from Samoa to show their support.
“Ina, today we pass the flag to you. As commander, you’ll be taking over a mission that has seen, and will continue to see, many changes. The 404th is a moving train taking on new initiatives as the single face of the materiel enterprise in this region, so hang on tight and enjoy this exciting command,” said Fontaine to Yahn.
As a way of congratulating Yahn on her new command, her family placed flower leis over her head after the ceremony.
The 404th AFSB is one of ASC’s subordinate commands, providing the single face of the Army Materiel Command to the field by integrating and synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology. The brigade provides command and control of AMC programs within a large and diverse area of responsibility, including Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, California, and Arizona.