13th SC(E) conducts commander’s conference at JBB

US Army Photos and story by Spc. Naveed Ali Shah
13th SC(E) Public Affairs

JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — Fort Hood’s 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) conducted a commander’s conference May 7 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.

The intent of the conference was to allow all brigade-level and higher command teams a chance to interface and coordinate preparations for the upcoming strategic reposturing of equipment and personnel in Iraq.

The 13th SC(E) commanding general, Brig. Gen. Paul L. Wentz, said the meeting was an opportunity for senior leaders to gain a better understanding of the broad scope of sustainment operations in Iraq.

“We’re all here to get an update on the situation and to set the standard for the footprint we’re going to leave behind after the drawdown,” said Wentz, a Mansfield, Ohio, native.

As the 13th prepares for its redeployment, the unit is changing its focus from sustainment and drawdown operations to creating an environment for a smooth transition for the 103rd Sustainment Command (expeditionary), due to arrive in theater in mid-summer.

“I’m focused on (the brigade command team’s) concerns. We need to get a plan in place for our replacements so we can identify and affect any shortfalls before we leave,” said Wentz.

Col. Larry Phelps, the commander of Fort Hood’s 15th Sustainment Brigade, said the conference was an opportunity for him to meet with his peers and see the 13th SC(E)’s operations in a broader scope.

“It’s a chance for us to be in the same place and talk face to face with the people we deal with everyday over the phone or (video conference call),” said Phelps, a Greenville, Ala., native. “We get to sit together with the (commanding general) and take advantage of his guidance.”

With the commanders of all the sustainment and force protection brigades in the same room, Phelps said he was able to learn from his peers.

“We get to take a step back from our day-to-day and see what the other units are doing and we can use this knowledge to set benchmarks for the drawdown,” Phelps said.

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Col. Sean Ryan(from left), commander of the 36th Sustainment Brigade, Brig. Gen. Paul L. Wentz, the commanding general for the 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary), and Col. Shawn Morrissey, commander of the 3rd Sust. Bde., talk during the Leader’s Social May 6 at the 13th SC(E) headquarters at Joint Base Balad. The social was held prior to the 13th SC(E) Commander’s Conference May 7 at Joint Base Balad. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Naveed Ali Shah, 13th SC(E) Public Affairs)

 

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Col. Frederick Brown(from left), operations officer for the 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary), Command Sgt. Maj. Mark D. Joseph, senior enlisted advisor for the 13th SC(E), Brig. Gen. Paul L. Wentz, commanding general for the 13th SC(E), and Col. Knowles Atchison, deputy commander for the 13th SC(E), are briefed on ongoing sustainment operations during the 13th SC(E) Commander’s Conference May 7, at Joint Base Balad. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Naveed Ali Shah, 13th SC(E) Public Affairs)

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Command Teams from the 15th Sustainment Brigade, the 3rd Sustainment Brigade, and the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment are briefed on ongoing sustainment operations during the 13th SC(E) Commander’s Conference May 7, at Joint Base Balad.. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Naveed Ali Shah, 13th SC(E) Public Affairs)