By Summer BarkleyJuly 19, 2012
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan--Col. Orlando Dale Critzer assumed command of the 401st Army Field Support Brigade from Col. Michel M. Russell, Sr. Jul. 18 in a ceremony at brigade headquarters presided over by Brig. Gen. Kristin K. French, Joint Sustainment Command-Afghanistan commanding general.
The time-honored change of command ceremony is somewhat of a rarity for a unit deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Today's Army Force Generation model has units rotating in and out of the battle space for a set period of time with the commander usually remaining in command throughout the deployment. The 401st AFSB is unique in that it is headquartered in Afghanistan with commanders and personnel joining and leaving the unit as their individual assignments dictate.
Russell commanded the brigade of more than 54,000 Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and contractors for one year.
Brig. Gen. French thanked Russell for leading the brigade and said he was "truly the Face of AMC to the field." She acknowledged the competing and shifting missions completed under adverse condition and said the brigade under Russell's leadership had amazing accomplishments.
"It would take me hours to describe the numerous process improvements, missions supported, vehicles retrograded, equipment repaired, equipment issued and all the other critical tactical and operational support we have provided to the CJOA-A," said Russell. "When I look out across the theater, everywhere there is a Soldier, Airman, Marine, Sailor or coalition force there's a Sabre providing a service that facilitates their ability to execute their mission."
Col. Critzer said Russell was handing over the reins to "one of the finest tuned commands in theater."
"It comes without saying that the 401st AFSB has a reputation of excellence, of professionalism, of teamwork and of unparralled support," Critzer said. "We will continue building the reputation that Col. Russell and his team have built and will continue providing the absolute best support to ensure the Warfighters have what they need to execute some of the most demanding missions in the toughest environment our military is facing today.
Russell's next assignment is to Army G8 at the Pentagon.
The 401st AFSB's mission is to serve as the single entry point for integration and synchronization for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology between the tactical level and the Materiel Enterprise while enhancing unit readiness and improving combat capability; and provide field and sustainment level logistics for both U.S. and Coalition forces in Afghanistan in accordance with Joint Sustainment Command -- Afghanistan and U.S. Forces -- Afghanistan priorities and is accomplished by more than 54,000 Soldiers, Department of Army civilians and contractors at locations across the Afghanistan area of operations.