More than 350 Soldiers, Civilians and Family members gathered Aug. 12 at Hoekstra Field in Vicenza, Italy, for an exciting and historic event for U.S. Army Africa " one that highlighted the distinguished history of Headquarters Support Company and marked the activation of the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion.Prior to uncasing the colors and assumption of command, the historic ceremony kicked-off with formation of the troops, and presentation of honors to both Italy and the United States.“Since 1955 the Southern European Task Force (SETAF) has been successfully supported by the Headquarters Support Company (HSC) and it subsequently has been supporting the newest Army Service Component Command, USARAF, since 2008,” said USARAF Commander Maj. Gen. David R. Hogg. HSC’s response to the transition was to take their support to the next level and completed some incredible tasks: supported USARAF in support of Natural Fire 10; decreased USARAF’s non-tactical vehicle fleet by 88%, saving the command more than $275,000 annually by implementing Lean Six Sigma best business practices; received Joint Force’s Command commendation for support operations during Judicious Response Parts I and II; and finally, prepared USARAF for its shift to Army Service Component Command (ASCC) through property management " because of their superior performance, they won the 2010 Army Supply Excellence Award among comparable units in Europe.HSC has been so adept at providing service, Hogg answered the burning question of “why do we need to do this?”“Standing up a unit is not just some Army thing we do; it’s an important step that demonstrates we are actively creating the force capable of carrying out its mission,” Hogg said. “With the stand-up of Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, we acknowledge the continued transformation of USARAF into a fully functioning Army Service Component Command. The transformation process may not be fast, but today, the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion Stand-Up reinforces the fact that we, U.S. Army Africa, are moving forward " it’s not happening overnight but we’re getting there slowly but surely,” Hogg emphasized.A similar succession has recently occurred between HSC and the new Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion (HHB) as we welcome its first command team, Lt. Col Robert Brogan and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Robledo, to the USARAF Family.“As they assume command, they will undertake an important mission of the battalion that will support USARAF through a complex, challenging, and continuously evolving environment,” Hogg said. “I am extremely proud of all the successes of our HSC and look forward to the future accomplishments of our HHB,” he said.Hogg introduced the incoming HHB commander, Brogan, as someone with a wealth of experience that USARAF will be able to take advantage of.“Lt. Col. Brogan’s assignments run the gamut of platoon leader to company executive officer to instructor/writer of the Support Operations course at Army Logistics University to a stint as the 23rd Quartermaster Brigade Executive Officer,” Hogg said. “His experience as a petroleum supply specialist prior to his commission, along with several deployments in both Iraq and Afghanistan have all contributed to shaping the skills and leadership acumen of this leader,” he said.HHB, USARAF, and the community will benefit from Brogan’s experience.Brogan emphasized his commitment for continued growth within HHB.“As we take this initial step in growing the battalion, rest assure you will have my full commitment and dedication,” Brogan said. “Command Sgt. Maj. Robledo and I will seek out the best solutions from the directorates and the company as we build a cohesive unit that will best support the command’s mission.”The newest battalion in the Army will be able to provide increased support of personnel, operations and logistics to both USARAF and its members. The battalion will allow the USARAF command team to focus more on its mission on the continent, while the battalion will be focused on its personnel.With each African land force engagement USARAF, continues to build its relationship on the continent and work toward its goal of promoting security, stability and peace in Africa.