13th SC(E) Casing Ceremony
by Pfc. Crystal Eldridge
13th SC(E) Public Affairs
The 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) cased its colors during a ceremony at Fort Hood Wednesday.
Symbolic of the 13th SC(E) headquarters' imminent deployment for its second tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the ceremony marked the beginning of the headquarters' final push toward Iraq said Brig. Gen. Michael J. Terry, commanding general of the 13th.
"The 13th Sustainment Command headquarters will be responsible for all logistics operations in the Iraq Theater of Operations," Terry added.
"Including Soldiers from the National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve, the 13th SC(E) headquarters will command well over 20,000 Soldiers located throughout Iraq and Kuwait," Terry continued. "But in addition to providing logistical support, we will also be training Iraqi military units to conduct logistics operations and this ultimately is the mission we must complete so we can bring our Soldiers home with the victory they have so courageously earned."
Although the 13th SC(E) headquarters will be deploying soon, many of the command's Soldiers are already deployed in harm's way to secure the freedom of the Iraqi people.
"Soldiers from throughout the command are already (in Iraq) and have been on the front lines defending freedom since our nation took up arms against global terrorism four years ago," Terry said.
"Since our nation rose up to combat terrorism and tyranny - to once again battle those who would deny us life, liberty and happiness, to once again send our sons and daughters across the seas for a greater good - Soldiers from the 13th Sustainment Command have always been there," Terry continued.
"Since that time, the sun has not set in Texas without Soldiers of the 13th deployed in harm's way."
Former President George Herbert Walker Bush once said, "A volunteer is a person who can see what others cannot see; who can feel what most do not feel. Often, such gifted persons do not think of themselves as volunteers, but as citizens - citizens in the fullest sense: partners in civilization."
Citing this quote, Terry concluded the Soldiers of the 13th SC(E) are volunteers in the strongest sense of the word.
"Marines, coalition forces, civilian contractors and even Iraqi citizens in some cases, will rely on this headquarters and these Soldiers," Terry said. "And I want you to remember that all of these Soldiers are volunteers. Many of these Soldiers voluntarily enlisted or reenlisted during a period in which they knew they would deploy to war. For that I commend them."
Terry went on to say, "Anyone who may question America's future need only look at these men and women to know, it is still morning in America. As long as we produce such magnificent Soldiers and citizens, we will continue to be a shining beacon of freedom in a world still too dark with tyrants and tyranny."
Preparations for the headquarters' deployment began in earnest in early January on the heels of the holiday season. As Soldiers returned from leave and time with family and friends, they were met with increased training requirements, heavier workloads and mandatory physical evaluations.
As the headquarters' Soldiers began these preparations, they were also called upon to assist with the command's redesignation from a corps support command to its current designation as sustainment command (expeditionary) in order to better perform its intended mission, said Brig. Gen. Michael J. Terry, commanding general of the 13th SC(E).
The transformation from COSCOM to SC(E) was necessary to provide more responsive, agile, expeditionary forces to fight the battles our nation faces in the 21st century, Terry added.
During the transformation process, Soldiers of the 13th SC(E) deployed to New Orleans to support Joint Task Force Katrina's humanitarian aid to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. While in Louisiana, many of the transformative principles were incorporated in the Joint Logistics Command, Terry continued.
While undergoing transformations, performing garrison missions, providing humanitarian aid and preparing for deployment, the headquarters also facilitated the deployment and redeployment of 41 units within the command.
Brig. Gen. Michael J. Terry, Commanding General of the 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) and Command Sgt. Maj. Terry Fountain case the command colors in a ceremony July 12. The 13th SC(E) will deploy to Iraq to be the senior logistics command under Multinational Corps Iraq. (U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Crystal D. Eldridge)
Cannonneers from the 1st Cavalry Division salute battery fire a salute during the 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) casing ceremony July 12. The 13th SC(E) is deploying as the senior logistics command under Multinational Corps-Iraq. (U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Crystal D. Eldridge)