13th SC(E) transfers authority to 103rd ESC

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

JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — The 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), from Fort Hood, Texas, transferred authority to the 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), from Des Moines, Iowa, in a ceremony held here July 1 at the circuit gym.

The ceremony marked the official end of the 13th SC(E)’s responsibilities as the primary logistics headquarters in support of United States Forces-Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-11, their third such tour in support of OIF, and the beginning of the 103rd ESC’s mission in Iraq.

Lt. Gen. Kenneth Hunzeker, USF-I’s deputy commanding general for support, the presiding officer at the ceremony, described how he viewed the transfer of authority between the 13th SC(E) and the 103rd ESC. 

“This transfer ceremony is historic, rewarding and a little bittersweet,” Hunzeker said.  “Historic because it celebrates the remarkable job that Paul Wentz and the 13th SC(E) has accomplished this year. Rewarding, because it allows me to praise this unit in public and recognize its accomplishments. Bittersweet, mainly on a personal basis, because this, the third time that Brig. Gen. Paul Wentz and I have served together, has truly been the charm.”

Hunzeker also outlined some of the key accomplishments of the 13th SC(E) over the course of their year-long deployment.

“From Habur gate on the Turkish border to the port of Um Qasr, and from Trebil gate to COS Caldwell in Diyala Province near the Iranian border, the 13th SC(E) was engaged, employed, providing exceptional service,” he said.

“Every time a Soldier opened a bottle of water, received mail, loaded his weapon or climbed into his vehicle, the unseen hands of the 13th SC(E) were at work,” Hunzeker said, speaking about the tactically transparent importance of the Army logistics mission.

During their year-long deployment, the 13th SC(E) planned and coordinated Operation Clean Sweep, returning more than $1.4 billion back into the Army supply system, said Hunzeker.

In addition to supporting warfighters all across the Iraq Joint Operations Area, the 13th SC(E) instituted the beginning phases of the responsible drawdown of forces, helping to reposture the total number of service members in theater to meet the Sept. 1 goal of 50,000, Hunzeker said.

“You have exceeded General Odierno’s and my expectations,” said Hunzeker.  “We are proud of you.  Most importantly, America is proud of you.”

During his remarks, Brig. Gen. Paul L. Wentz, the commanding general of the 13th SC(E), thanked the USF-I staff, other logistics agencies,  service members, Family members and civilians whose contributions led to a successful mission.

Wentz also thanked his fellow division commanders for the diligence of their Soldiers in clearing roadways for the 13th SC(E) logisticians.

Brig. Gen. Mark Corson, commanding general of the 103rd ESC, thanked the 13th SC(E) for their assistance and efforts over the past six months to help the Soldiers of the 103rd prepare for their upcoming mission.

“You have a phenomenal group of professionals, and we have been fortunate to have been able to learn from the best,” Corson said.

“While a large part of my heart will remain with the dedicated sustainment Soldiers still here, I know they will be in good hands with the 103rd, Wentz said.

“The Soldiers of the 13th SC(E), Phantom Support, return to Fort Hood, Texas, knowing they took part in an unprecedented moment in the nation’s history and in the history of military logistics,” read Master Sgt. Michael I. Bair, 13th SC(E)’s command chaplain assistant, and narrator during the ceremony.  “Their sacrifices and performance throughout their deployment were crucial to the accomplishment of the mission of contributing to a sovereign, stable, and safer Iraq.”

 

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Brig. Gen. Paul L. Wentz, the commanding general of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), and Command Sgt. Maj. Mark D. Joseph, the senior enlisted adviser of the 13th SC(E), case the unit’s colors during a transfer of authority ceremony between the 13th SC(E) and 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) July 1, at Joint Base Balad. The ceremony marks the end of the 13th SC(E)’s mission in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-11. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Joel F. Gibson, 13th SC(E) Public Affairs)

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Brig. Gen. Mark Corson, the commanding general of the 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), and Command Sgt. Maj. LeRoy Haugland, the senior enlisted adviser of the 103rd ESC, uncase the unit’s colors during a transfer of authority ceremony between the 103rd ESC and 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) July 1, at Joint Base Balad. The ceremony marks the beginning of the 103rd ESC’s mission in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. (U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Emily Walter, 103rd ESC Public Affairs)

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Brig. Gen. Paul L. Wentz, the commanding general of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary, issues remarks during a transfer of authority ceremony between the 13th SC(E) and 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) July 1, at Joint Base Balad. The ceremony marks the end of the 13th SC(E)’s mission in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-11. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Chad Menegay, 196th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)