Infantry unit adjusts to base support role

Story and photo by Pfc. Lisa A. Cope
139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq — As of April 1, 3rd Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment, 36th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) took over mayoral duties at Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq.

These duties were previously tasked to the battle-space owner, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, but were re-designated a sustainment duty as part of the upcoming responsible drawdown of forces and equipment from Iraq.

Lt. Col. Joachim Strenk, commander of the 3/141st and an Austin, Texas, native, said his unit is only in charge of the sustainment functions for COB Adder.

"It is not a garrison command anymore because they have split the (base operating support) functions and the base defense," he said. "The base defense still falls … under the maneuver units, whereas the (base operating support functions) fall under the 13th SC(E)."

Although the 3/141st is a smaller unit than the 4-1 AD, Strenk said he has had no issues with a shortage of personnel, thanks to support from the 36th Sust. Bde.

Strenk said he and his unit are enthusiastic about their new role in the drawdown.

"We actually love it," he said. "We want to embrace it because it makes a big difference. If we did not do the job that we need to do, then the tenants on COB Adder could not do their jobs."

Lt. Col. Stanley E. Golaboff, the deputy commander with the 36th Sust. Bde. and a Harker Heights, Texas, native, said the goal of the changeover was to help free up the battle-space owner, allowing them to focus more on their partnership with Iraqi units.

"(United States Forces – Iraq) has looked across the board to find … units that can pick up either the mayoral or garrison responsibilities," he said.

Golaboff said he believes the 3/141 is prepared for its new duties, which include ensuring the availability of chapel services for all denominations, providing the sexual assault response coordinator for the installation, providing a chairman for the sexual assault review board, and ensuring all base support-services contracts are fulfilled.

Golaboff said, "There is a synergy and benefit to having the folks who are trained in logistics provide basic life-support functions, which are, traditionally, logistically based."

 

news photo
Lt. Col. Joachim Strenk, commander of 3rd Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment, 36th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and an Austin, Texas, native, speaks at the transfer of authority ceremony April 1, during which his unit took over the mayoral duties at Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by: Maj. Tim Ohlhaver)