Sustainment Battalions Inactivate

Story by Sgt. Joel F. Gibson
13th SC(E) Public Affairs Office

FORT HOOD, Texas — With more than 98 years of history between them, two battalions of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) cased their colors in an inactivation ceremony at Guidon Field here on the morning of Jan. 15.

Soldiers of the 4th Corps Materiel Management Center and the Special Troops Battalion stood in formation while onlookers honored the history and tradition of the two storied logistics units.

The 4th CMMC and STB deployed together during Operations Iraqi Freedom II and 06-08, and during the time between those deployments, deployed to New Orleans in support of relief operations following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

One of the key accomplishments of both battalions was supporting the troop surge during OIF 06-08.

“When the President made the decision to increase, rather than draw down forces in Iraq, he presented this command with a tremendous challenge,” said Col. Paul L. Wentz, commanding officer of the 13th SC(E).

The STB had the unique mission serving as the headquarters for Multi-National Corps-Kuwait.

“Long before the first additional unit stepped off the plane the Special Troops Battalion was preparing to receive them in Kuwait, train them and move them safely into Iraq,” added Wentz.

Wentz continued, “Long before the first additional Soldier fired a shot in anger, the 4th Corps Materiel Management Center was ensuring he would fall in on everything he needed to fight and win.” 

“The 4th CMMC is the last of the legacy Theater, Corps, and Division materiel management centers to inactivate from the active Army,” said Lt. Col. Brian Brindley, commanding officer, 4th Corps Materiel Management Center.

The inactivation ceremony marks another step in the Army’s move toward modularity.

“The Army’s transition to a modular force structure has resulted in new logistics organizations replacing the MMCs,” Brindley said, “The new organizations operate with an improved, more efficient ability to perform distribution management operations.”

Lt. Col. Matt Melvin, commanding officer of the STB, explained the role of the battalion with an analogy, “I like to use the analogy of a City Manager of a large city when describing the functions of an STB.”

“The Mayor of the city drives the train one direction with focus and purpose, just like the Commanding General of the 13th SC(E), the General’s staff officers are like a bunch of city councilmen with lots of ideas, trying to meet the Mayor’s intent and issues of their citizens,” Melvin added.

“Change is always tough and we will miss what these battalions bring to our organization,” Wentz said, “But the Army is always changing, always evolving to meet the demands of the future.”