FORT KNOX, Ky. (June 28, 2011) " Brig. Gen. Robin B. Akin, relinquished command of the 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), to Col. Kristin K. French during a change-of-command ceremony here June 28.

Maj. Gen. Rodney O. Anderson, deputy commanding general of the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, officiated the ceremony which took place at the post’s Brooks Field.

“Robin, you have proven that you have what it takes to accomplish any mission,” said Maj. Gen. Anderson. “The units you trained, the logistician you mentored, and the support you provided indeed sustained the line. Job well done!”

Brig. Gen. Akin commanded the 3d ESC for nearly two years and accomplished much during her time as commander. She said she would relish her time as commander of the 3d ESC, as it prepared her for future assignments and any challenges that would come her way in the future.

“Life in the 3d ESC and on Fort Knox has been one of the proudest professional opportunities for me as a leader and serving with the Soldiers of the communities that make Fort Knox a world class installation,” said Brig. Gen. Akin. “Col. French, the unit is the best example of veterans and families who have sacrificed for the nation.”

In January of 2010, Brig. Gen. Akin led the 3d ESC on its deployment to Haiti in support of Operation Unified Response after the island nation was devastated by an earthquake.

Only days after the earthquake struck, elements from the 3d ESC deployed to Haiti in order to support the relief effort in any way that they could. Brig. Gen. Akin recalled this time as one of proudest as commander of the 3d ESC, and thanked her Soldiers for their hard work and diligence to the mission.

Brig. Gen. Akin considered this deployment to be a great challenge for the U.S. Army and the 3d ESC, but she felt the Soldiers involved faced the challenge and executed the mission flawlessly.

“I was awed by the professionalism of the commanders, Soldiers and the necessary teamwork the command achieved as they supported us in that endeavor,” said Brig. Gen. Akin. “I believe that if the 3d ESC had not been there supporting the XVIII Airborne Corps and SOUTHCOM, we might’ve had a mission failure.”

Upon her departure, Brig. Gen. Akin will be the deputy assistant chief of staff, C-4/J-4, for the United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command, United States Forces Korea.

Col. French, previously the military advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness at the Pentagon, is the third female to lead the 3d ESC, with the first being Brig. Gen. Rebecca S. Halstead and second, Brig. Gen. Akin.

“It is indeed an honor and great privilege for me to take the colors of the 3d ESC,” said Col. French. “I am absolutely humbled at this opportunity and extremely excited about the road that lies ahead.”

Col. French’s previous assignments include serving as the commander of the 406th Army Field Support Brigade and executive officer for the Defense Logistics Agency.

Her schools include: the Quartermaster Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Logistics Executive Development Course, Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.

Col. French’s awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and Meritorious Service Medal.

“I am convinced that the 3d ESC will continue to prosper,” said Col. French. “Based on past accomplishments and continuing perseverance, the Soldiers and leaders of the 3d ESC will, without a doubt, succeed in whatever they set out to do.”

Photos and story by Sgt. Michael Behlin, 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) public affairs.
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