By Capt. Matt McMillan (2d ID)October 20, 2012
The 70th Brigade Support Battalion, 210th Fires Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, officially recognized two new companies of their unit in a Sept. 17 activation ceremony at Camp Casey, South Korea, marking a milestone in their organizational transformation.
The units, Distribution Company A and Field Maintenance Company B, provide improved capabilities to the battalion, which has been undergoing a steady transformation over the last year.
"We've made significant improvements to the base capability of this BSB," said Capt. Christopher J. Clones of Tampa, Fla., the battalion's logistics officer. "In the future, we will be able to provide encompassing support to the brigade."
The two new companies were officially authorized in June 2012, when the 70th BSB's Modified Table of Organization and Equipment changed.
For the Soldiers and leadership of 70th battalion, Companies A and B bring much-needed capabilities closer to home.
"[Distribution Company A] provides the 210th Fires brigade with a supply support activity," said Spokane, Wash.,-native Capt. Matthew W. Clift, 70th BSB operations officer. "And Field Maintenance Company B supports 210th Fires Brigade in the field.
"Company A handles all classes of supply and moves them around. Company B builds and fixes," Clift added.
The supply support activity allows the battalion to receive supplies and repair parts directly. The activity serves as both warehouse and depot. Because 70th BSB supports the 210th Fires Bde., the other two battalions in 210th -- 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment, and 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment -- also reap the benefits.
Additionally, the new companies brought specialized maintenance shops with them. Prior to their incorporation, 70th BSB had to send difficult-to-repair equipment outside the organization to be fixed.
The battalion, for their part, paved the way for the companies.
"Our main priority from the logistical standpoint was building up the [supply support activity]," said Clones. "We increased the size of the SSA by 1,000 square feet."
The unit, which assumed responsibility of the SSA in June 2012, needed that space to store parts. Before the space increase they stored some parts outside, which led to certain problems.
"Paint froze. Radios got damaged," said Clones. "We bought the modular tent system [to increase space], and it gave us added mobility in addition to increased storage space."
Although the ceremony on Sept. 17 officially "activated" the two new companies and vetted them as members of the 70th BSB, they had been supporting the unit long before. Their Soldiers had been operating on provisional status since the summer of 2011 -- meaning they performed their jobs at the 70th BSB, but technically remained part of the 61st Maintenance Company, 194th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, their parent unit. Effectively, the 70th BSB had benefited from their support more or less over the past year.
During the ceremony, Lt. Col. Eric Jackson and Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Harris, battalion commander and command sergeant major, removed unit patches from Soldiers formerly on provisional status and replaced them with 2nd Infantry Division "Indianhead" patches as an official welcome.
The units also unfurled their new guidons during the ceremony.
"We received this unit. It's activated, and we have full faith in their capabilities," said Clift in summation.
As the 70th Brigade Support Battalion continues its transformation, it will incorporate more Soldiers and additional capabilities, such as large-scale water purification.