4th Sust. Bde. Transfer of Authority

Story by Spc. John D. Ortiz
Photos by Sgt. Angiene Myers
4th Sust. Bde. Public Affairs

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait — The 640th Sustainment Brigade, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., handed the reins of authority for supplying the combat forces in Iraq to the 4th Sust. Bde., from Fort Hood, Texas, in a transfer of authority ceremony here March 28.

The 4th Sus. Bde., under the command of Col. Terrence Hermans, assumed the task as the major logistic commander and supplier of equipment and personnel to U.S. Army Central Command (ARCENT), Multi-National Corps-Iraq (MNC-I), and Multi-National Corps-Kuwait (MNC-K).

This task is the first for the brigade, after it transformed and modularized under the Army’s new brigade combat team structure, and its first deployment as a member of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), stationed at Fort Hood, Texas.

The ceremony marks the end of a three-week period in which the 4th sat in the passenger seat for a week, transitioned to the driver’s seat and took control of theater convoys with guidance from the 640th Sust. Bde.

“The best advice I can give [the 4th Sust., Bde.] is to stay motivated, stay focused and don’t let anything get the best of them,” said Staff Sgt. Fred Patton, a reservist and native of Chesapeake, Va.. “Go out, have fun and protect those guys on the road.”

“I’m ready for the transfer to take place,” said Patton, “so I can go home and see my little boy.”

“This ceremony is a first for a brigade-size element,” said Brig. Gen. Kevin A. Leonard, the commanding general for the 1st Sustainment Command (Theater), “it used to be when the new guy came onboard, the old unit would say ‘I’m so glad you’re here, I’m gone,’ but this is a deliberate three-week process because individuals have to think about why they are here, and the strategic importance of Kuwait and [the 4th Sust. Bde.,] is going to take over the strategic mission.”

“The best thing for this ceremony is to provide a venue to thank those involved for doing a successful mission,” said Leonard. “There really is a debt owed to each and every one of you that can never be paid, as one Soldier to another, thank you for your service and for being a part of the ‘First Team’.”

“The 640th Sust. Bde., leaves a great legacy from a collective effort,” he said, “[the unit] moved more gallons of fuel each day than the famed Red Ball Express did in over a month, and accomplished the mission in which every convoy was a movement to contact, with some missions lasting in excess of 21days.”

The 640th Sust. Bde., has accomplished amazing things given the time frame of their deployment, said Leonard, “the support given to the war effort has been the real measure of success with no mission ever being stopped or even paused due to logistics.”

“There are several things that I can say to the 4th Sust. Bde.,” said Col. Brett Nila, the 640th Sust. Bde., commander, “be flexible, things change at a moment’s notice, ask a lot of questions, never take anything for granted, and take care of the individuals who are doing the hard work.”

“Upon arrival into theater, the 640th Sust. Bde. welcomed and took care of us, and the knowledge that was accumulated over the year was transferred over to [the 4th Sust. Bde.,] said Col. Terrence Hermans, the 4th Sust. Bde., commander, “they taught us a new concept called ‘Battle Space,’ in which commanders at all echelons apply all available combat power to dominate their area of responsibility, and made sure that we grasped the concept.”

“As we take the reins today, we will build on their success and work,” said Hermans, “we will endeavor to take the operation to the next level of excellence and look forward to a legacy that builds on what the 640th Sust. Bde., has done and beginning a new chapter in the Kuwait area of operations and joining the ‘First Team’.”


Soldiers in TOA
Soldiers in TOA