FORT KNOX, Ky. (April 4, 2012) -- Fort Knox's 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) cased its colors Wednesday April 4, during a ceremony on Brooks Field as it prepares to deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The upcoming deployment will mark the third for the 3d ESC since it relocated to Fort Knox in June 2007. The command deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in May 2008 and to Haiti in January 2010 in support of Operation Unified Response.

The reviewing officer for the ceremony was Maj. Gen. Rodney O. Anderson, the deputy commanding general of the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, who said he was confident the 3d ESC would excel in its mission.

"I know your leadership, I have witnessed your training and I know that you are ready," said Anderson. "Your mission to provide logistics and distribution management anywhere, at anytime, in any environment against any adversary will surely be tested in Afghanistan.

"But you are the right unit, with the right leadership, with the right training, at the right time. This is your time," Anderson said.

Anderson said that the 3d ESC's role in Afghanistan will be invaluable to all of the deployed troops.

Col. Kristin K. French, the commander of the 3d ESC, said that "the command will be faced with an incredibly complex mission" while deployed. French said that when in Afghanistan, the 3d ESC will be responsible for more than 4,000 Troops and 10,000 contractors.

While deployed, the 3d ESC will ensure all United States and selected Coalition and Afghan Military Forces are supported and sustained throughout the country and to assist in the responsible drawdown of U.S. Forces. Given its joint mission, the commands name will be converted from an ESC to a Joint Sustainment Command -- Afghanistan.

French said that while the command will face a difficult mission in Afghanistan, she is confident in her Soldiers abilities and looks forward to returning to Fort Knox in 2013.

"The entire 3d ESC team is excited about this opportunity to display our talents and demonstrate our passion for providing logistics support," said French. "As we embark on this mission, we are reminded that the Army is the strength of the nation, Soldiers are the strength of the Army, and Families are the strength of the Soldiers. And, we are Army Strong!"