55 Reservists replace roughly 100 outgoing Soldiers

Story by Spc. Michael Camacho
139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — More than 55 Reserve Soldiers from Puerto Rico replaced roughly 100 Reservists this month, providing support operations at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, to the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).

The 210th Regional Support Group out of Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, took control of operations from Soldiers with the 304th Sustainment Brigade Detachment 3, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), at the culmination of Det. 3's year-long deployment.

An awards ceremony at JBB's Morale, Welfare and Recreation center east Dec. 22 recognized the service of the 304th Sust. Bde. Det. 3 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and marked the transfer of authority.

Det. 3 is composed of Reservists from 19 states and two territories, said Master Sgt. Sylvester Ishmael, the unit's noncommissioned officer in charge of reset and redistribution. The unit's personnel primarily serve in logistical and specialized services.

The detachment arrived months after the brigade's main body and remained at JBB after the brigade was replaced in September, said Ishmael, a Pensacola, Fla., native.

"We came as a later element to augment the Expeditionary sustainment commands that were here in theater," he said.

The request-for-forces Soldiers from the 304th were tasked to fill vacant positions in the sustainment command, said Capt. Debra Graham, officer in charge of personnel with Det. 3.

"When the command identifies areas they need to fill based on their in theater mission, they reach out to the Reserves to fill those billets," said Graham.

Originally assigned to different sections of the 3rd ESC, Det. 3's Soldiers stayed in positions as the 3rd transferred authority to the 13th ESC, said Ishmael.

Soldiers with the 210th will augment the 13th ESC in much the same way when the 304th Sust. Bde. Det. 3 leaves, said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Archie Clark, personnel chief with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 13th ESC.

"They are here to replace the outgoing RFF personnel that were brought here to augment the 3rd ESC, as well as the 13th," said Clark.

The Puerto Rican Soldiers specialize in logistics and mission-support areas critical for a sustainment command, said 1st Lt. Carmelo Rodriquez, asset visibility deputy with the 210th RSG and an Adjuntas, Puerto Rico, native. The 210th personnel serve at the communications help desk, finance, supply and other duty positions to support mission operations, said Rodriquez.

"The 13th ESC is a very complete command but, when you cover such a large area and so many units, you need a little bit of help to make sure you cover down on everything," he said. "As Reservists, we focus a lot on combat service support. We're over here to offer the 13th ESC, and everybody who falls under the 13th ESC, the full spectrum of anything and everything that is support for the Soldier and the mission."