Sustainment commands host logistics conference

Story and photos by Pfc. Emily Walter
103rd Sustainment Command (Expenditionary) Public Affairs

JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — Soldiers with the 13th Sustainment Command (Expenditionary) and the 103rd ESC gathered for a logistics operations conference June 25 at the Sergeant Audie Murphy Room in Dining Facility No. 1 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.

Representatives from the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade, the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office, the Logistics Support Agency and the United States Forces – Iraq logistics office attended the conference, which offered a chance to bring together logistics officers from units all over Iraq.

“This is a one-stop shop to meet all the key points of contact for the (logistics offices) and to understand what they can do to help,” said Maj. Richard Williams, assistant chief of staff for logistics with the 103rd ESC and an Urbandale, Iowa, native.

Maj. Joelle Derbonne, assistant chief of staff for logistics with the 13th SC(E), and a Lodi, Calif., native, said the conference allows everybody to gain a common understanding of the logistical role in support of the upcoming responsible drawdown.

As USF-I transitions from Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn, the 103rd ESC will be taking the reins from the 13th SC(E)

Since the 103rd ESC is relieving a unit with established contacts and systems, it is important that each Soldier establishes relationships with his or her counterparts here to facilitate a smooth transition, Williams said.

“It’s important to hold this conference during the (relief in place) process to ensure the 103rd ESC is brought up to speed very quickly in order to manage units’ equipment and the turn-in process for that equipment,” Derbonne said. “It’s a chance for them to meet their counterparts that they’re going to be working with.”

Officers from battalion-level command up to USF-I were at the conference to confirm the procedures in place for the successful drawdown to successfully complete the “waterfall,” or the transition of troops from the Iraqi theater of operation, said Capt. David Finn, deputy logistics officer with the 103rd ESC, and an Omaha, Neb., native.

“The goal is to make sure we streamline the redeployment of forces,” said Diana Willis, logistics analyst with USF-I supply and services and a Jacksonville, Fla., native. “It is also an introduction to the incoming logistics (Soldiers) so they can put names with faces.”

“Communication and face-to-face contact are critical for mission success,” Finn said.

Derbonne added that by bringing all the logistics officers together, they were able to identify the challenges they will be facing and devise efficient solutions through discussion.

 

news photo
Soldiers with the 13th Sustainment Command (Expenditionary) and the 103rd ESC discuss logistics operations June 25 at the in the Sergeant Audie Murphy Room in Dining Facility No. 1 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. The conference addressed the logistics challenges the 103rd ESC will face during the upcoming responsible drawdown of U.S. troops and equipment from Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Emily A. Walter)

news photo
Diana Willis, logistics analyst with United States Forces-Iraq supply and services, and a Jacksonville, Fla., native, discusses logistics operations during a conference attended by Soldiers with the 13th Sustainment Command (Expenditionary) and the 103rd ESC June 25 in the Sergeant Audie Murphy Room in Dining Facility No. 1 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. The conference addressed the logistics challenges the 103rd ESC will face during the upcoming responsible drawdown of U.S. troops and equipment from Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Emily A. Walter)

news photo
Soldiers with the 13th Sustainment Command (Expenditionary) and the 103rd ESC discuss logistics operations June 25 at the in the Sergeant Audie Murphy Room in Dining Facility No. 1 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. The conference addressed the logistics challenges the 103rd ESC will face during the upcoming responsible drawdown of U.S. troops and equipment from Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Emily A. Walter)