NATICK, Mass. -- Lieutenant Colonel Ross Poppenberger took over as Product Manager Force Sustainment Systems in an Aug. 9 change-of-charter ceremony at Natick Soldier Systems Center.

Colonel R. Eric Fletcher, Project Manager Force Protection, presided over the ceremony.

"Ross is a tremendous officer," said Fletcher, urging Poppenberger to "enjoy your time as a PM. It's going to be fantastic."

Poppenberger comes to Natick from his previous assignment as deputy chief of contracting for the Defense Information Systems Agency's Defense Information Technology Contracting Office in the National Capital Region.

Poppenberger's background also includes two combat tours in Iraq and a combat tour in Afghanistan.

"I stand here today filled with great pride to have the honor to serve with such an outstanding group of people who have done so much for our Army and our nation," Poppenberger said. "Every Soldier in the Army and all the service members across the board use Force Sustainment Systems' products, both stateside and down range.

"Many of our senior leaders are very interested in what we're doing here."

Poppenberger replaced Lt. Col. (P) James E. Tuten, who moves on to Fort Detrick, Md., where he will become director of the Strategic and National Interagency Confederation for Biological Research.

"I want to thank the PM FSS team," Tuten said. "At the end of the day, it is a team, a family. It has really been an honor just to be a part of it."

Among Tuten's achievements was seeing the Army Base Camp Integration Laboratory at Fort Devens through to its completion and last week's successful "Operational Energy Day" there.

"He's done a great job," Fletcher said of Tuten. "What a way to go out. What a great event."

The BCIL studies new technologies to help base camps more efficiently use resources. Poppenberger said he looks forward to continuing that important work.

"Operational energy is one of the three most important … Army … initiatives," Poppenberger said. "I'm excited about our role in operational energy. We have an important task, and I know we're going to do our best with it.

"I will continue to build on this great PM Force Sustainment success story."