History in the making

Story and photos by Spc. Lisa A. Cope
13th Sustainment Command (Expenditionary) Public Affairs

JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — History is being made every day in Iraq and the members of the 45th Military History Detachment out of Ft. Gillem, Ga., are at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, to record it.

Lt. Col. Steven L. Logan, commander of the 45th MHD, coordinates the three-Soldier unit’s mission to cover all of the units under the 13th Sustainment Command (Expenditionary) throughout Iraq.

“The 45th Military History Detachment is covering the 13th Expenditionary Sustainment Command and all of its subordinate units,” said Logan, a Lexington, Ky., native. “Specifically, we are covering the coordination, synchronization and execution of the largest strategic re-posturing of forces and equipment in the last forty years.”

The detachment interviews a number of Soldiers proportional to the size of each unit, said Logan. The 45th attempts to find a diverse selection, in order to get a better idea of how the unit works on all levels, he said.

The information collected from these interviews is stored, and, at the end of the tour, the information will be given to the 13th SC(E) for their records and the Center of Military History at Ft. McNair, Washington – where all history detachments submit their findings. This will then be permanently archived as part of the official Army record, said Logan.

“The information we collect is not for quick turn-around purposes; it’s for long-term history books to be written years down the road,” said Logan.

Lt. Col. Peter M. Haas, commander of the 49th Transportation Battalion out of Ft. Hood, Texas, was interviewed by the 45th MHD Sept. 21. Haas said the 45th interviewed roughly 12 of the 72 Soldiers who work in the 49th Trans. Bn. Headquarters and Headquarters Company.

He was asked a variety of questions about his background information, pre-deployment training, and challenges the unit faces in theater and in the rear detachment, he said.

“It was more a documentary interview than it was a news interview,” said Haas.

The 45th MHD is a small unit with a big task, but Logan said he is both personally and professionally enthusiastic about their mission here.

“We’re capturing the achievements and success of every Soldier,” said Logan


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Lt. Col. Steven L. Logan, commander of the 45th Military History Detachment, snaps a picture during an interview Sept. 25, at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.

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Lt. Col. Steven L. Logan, commander of the 45th Military History Detachment, interviews U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Dustin A. Demorest, the 13th Sustainment Command (Expenditionary) electronic warfare special projects officer, Sept. 25 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.