Officially home, 64th CSG uncases colors after return from Al Anbar Province
by Spc. Fabian Ortega
The 64th Corps Support Group, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), along with two 64th CSG battalion headquarters units, 553rd Corps Support Battalion and 180th Transportation Battalion, held an uncasing ceremony Wednesday at Guidon Field.
The flag uncasing marked the 64th CSG and its battalions’ official return home from combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
While deployed in support of theater operations, the 64th provided direct and general support to Muli-National Forces West, which included 1st and 2nd Marine Expeditionary Forces, contingents of the 4th Infantry Division and the newly formed Iraqi Army.
“Our main mission (in Iraq) was to support both joint and coalition forces,” said Col. Cassandra V. Roberts, 64th CSG Commander. “Our primary support was to the Marine combat forces,” she added.
Before the 64th took on their joint mission, there was no doctrine that governed how the 64th was to tactically support the other services; Roberts said they had to develop their own rules for joint logistical support in theater.
“We set the standard on how to support joint forces on a non-linear battlefield,” said the commander. “I’m proud to say that our Soldiers have always met or exceeded my expectations; a true testament to their spirit,” she said.
During joint military endeavors the 64th was tasked with providing all classes of supply; pushing fuel, munitions, rations and water in large quantities to sustain the joint and coalition forces during high op-tempo operations.
This was facilitated through the 64th two corps support battalions, one of them being the 553rd CSB.
Upon arrival into the theater of operations on Sept. 25, the 553rd assumed command and control of seven non-traditional companies and a naval detachment totaling over 1200 Soldiers and Sailors.
Through the 553rd, the 64th provided rations and munitions to firebases, moved M1A2 Abrams tanks into battle positions for Marine Expeditionary units, provided direct support to a parachute infantry regiment, and provided operational rations for over 54,000 joint and coalition personnel.
The 64th also left it’s mark on Iraq’s historical make up.
During the Iraqi national elections the 64th was a mainstay, providing safety for those willing to participate. The 64th set up concrete barriers and barricaded voting centers throughout Anbar, most notably Ramadi and Fallujah, both considered to be hot beds for the insurgency.
There were initial talks of excluding some cites of Al Anbar from the election process due to the instability of the region, but those plans were set aside and the 64th was called on for support.
Additionally 64th Logistic Task Forces were co-located with the combat arms field trains for both the Army and the Marine Corps during major combat operations.
By all accounts, many said the elections were a success. Voters - men and women - streamed to more than 30,000 polling stations set up across the country.
The 64th and its units drove over 4.6 million miles with 3,100 combat logistics patrols, provided over 5 million meals, 33.8 million bottles of water, 96.1 million gallons of fuel and moved over 700 thousand short tons of cargo in support of OIF.
Under the modular army concept, at one point the 64th itself integrated 17 different companies and detachments from active guard and reserve components from all over the globe.
180th Trans was not one of them.
Upon deployment to Kuwait in support of OIF, the 180th assumed command and control of five in lieu of transportation units, two Air Force detachments totaling over 1200 Soldiers and Airmen.
The 180th conducted operations from Camp Arifjan, Kuwait and the seaport of Debarkation to the tactical assembly area and forward operating bases throughout Kuwait and Iraq.
The end result was 1,030 missions wile driving over 22 million miles.
This was the second deployment in support of OIF all three units.