13th SC(E) Changes Command

Story by Staff Sgt. Joel F. Gibson
Photos by Maj. Raul Marquez and Staff Sgt. Joel F. Gibson
13th SC(E) Public Affairs Office

FORT HOOD, Texas — The 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) conducted a change of command ceremony at Sadowski Field here 9:30 A.M., August 19.

Col. Terrence J. Hildner took command of the 13th SC(E) from Brig. Gen. Paul L. Wentz during the ceremony.

Hildner joins the 13th SC(E) after serving as the director of training and doctrine at the Combined Arms Support Command in Fort Lee, Va.

However, this is not the first time Hildner has been a Phantom Support Soldier.

From 2003 to 2007, Hildner commanded the Special Troops Battalion, 13th SC(E), providing administrative support and training for Soldiers of the 13th SC(E) headquarters.

Under Hildner’s command, STB, 13th SC(E), deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II and provided humanitarian support in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as Logistical Task Force Lone Star.

Following his 35 months in command of the 13th, Wentz will move on to be the deputy chief of staff for logistics at U.S. Army Europe in Heidelberg, Germany.

During Wentz’s command, the 13th SC(E) Headquarters deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-11, and facilitated the deployments of subordinate units at every level across the command.

“Every company, battalion, and brigade headquarters under the 13th has deployed and redeployed at least once while I was in command,” Wentz said during his remarks at the ceremony.

While deployed to Iraq, the Sustainment Command had command and control of up to seven subordinate brigades, providing logistics support for the entire theater, in addition to coordinating the responsible drawdown of equipment and personnel.

“When I took command of these Soldiers in September, 2007, I knew the Army would call upon and once again challenge the Soldiers of the 13th,” said Wentz.

I also knew that our Soldiers would respond to that challenge with greatness.”

What I did not know was the historic consequences of that challenge for us, the Army, and the people of Iraq.”

During the deployment, on an average day, the ESC and its subordinate units provided 1.5 million gallons of fuel, more than 300 cases of meals-ready-to-eat, and more than 74,000 cases of bottled water to U.S. Forces and Iraqi Security Forces, across theater.

“It absolutely, positively, would not have been possible without the extraordinary efforts of the Soldiers and civilians under the command and exceptional leadership of Paul Wentz,” Maj. Gen. William F. Grimsley, the commanding general of Fort Hood.

Wentz said, while conducting the sustainment mission across the entire theater is a daunting task, conducting the responsible drawdown of forces and equipment from theater adds complications and adversity into the mission.

“As you can imagine, the planning for this drawdown of forces was unlike any undertaking in modern warfare,” Wentz said.

It required innovative solutions in order to balance two very difficult missions: sustain the fight, while drawing down the footprint.”

In addition to its sustainment and drawdown missions, the 13th SC(E) coordinated with Iraqi companies to reduce U.S. Forces presence on Iraqi roadways and maintain equipment.

The 13th’s partnership with the Iraqi Transportation Network put supplies that had formerly been carried by U.S. Army and contracted vehicles, both American and third-country, into Iraqi owned and operated vehicles.

Joint Base Balad’s container repair yard enabled the Miran Village Corporation, an Iraqi company, to employ carpenters and welders to fix enough damaged shipping containers to significantly positively impact the responsible drawdown.

Another significant accomplishment the 13th SC(E) had during its latest deployment in support of OIF, was the implementation of Operation Clean Sweep.

“During Operation Clean Sweep, 13th SC(E) Soldiers identified, cataloged, and put back into the Army supply system more than $1 Billion worth of supplies and equipment,” said Sgt. Maj. Dennis Strubhart, the senior noncommissioned officer for support operations, 13th SC(E).

“Even though today is bittersweet for me, I'm proud to turn over responsibilities for these amazing Soldiers to a confident, competent, and disciplined leader like Terry,” Wentz said.

He and his wife Cindy have been on the Phantom Support Team in the past, and I know they are thrilled to return to Fort Hood, the central Texas community, and the Phantom Support Family.”

“I will be brief and short and close with the simple statement that central Texas has always been, to the Hildner Family, a place where we have made some of our best memories and lifelong friends, here at the Great Place, and in the surrounding communities,” said Hildner.

It's truly good to be home.”


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Maj. Gen. William F. Grimsley, the commanding general of Fort Hood, hands the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) colors to Col. Terrence J. Hildner, the commanding officer of the 13th SC(E) during a change of command ceremony at Sadowski Field here August 19. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Raul Marquez, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs)

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Brig. Gen Paul L. Wentz, the former commander of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), addresses Soldiers and guests during a change of command ceremony at Sadowski Field here August 19. Wentz expresses appreciation for the central Texas community and military Families. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Raul Marquez, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs)

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Soldiers of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) stand assembled during a change of command ceremony at Sadowski Field here August 19. Command of the 13th SC(E) was passed from Brig. Gen. Paul L. Wentz to Col. Terrence J. Hildner. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Joel F. Gibson, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs)