by Army Capt. Richard Packer
2d Engineer Brigade PAO
7/10/2014 - BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan -- Soldiers
of the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson-based 17th Combat Sustainment
Support Battalion took the mission of the Central Command Material
Recovery Element CSSB from the 1103rd Combat Sustainment Support
Battalion of the Alabama National Guard during a transfer of authority
ceremony, July 1.
The CMRE mission focuses on the return of military equipment from the
battlefield in Afghanistan back to the U.S. and American forces around
the world. The 17th CSSB will help sort, track and transport equipment
as the logistical arm of CMRE.
Army Lt. Col. Brian Formy-Duval and Command Sgt. Maj. Jacqueline
Williams, the command team of 17th CSSB, uncased the unit colors. This
is the final step in a military tradition, which recognizes the unit's
move from home station to being operational on the battlefield.
"As we take over this historical mission called CMRE, we understand that
we are one of many storied units who will write the last chapter of our
nation's war against terrorism in Afghanistan," Formy-Duval told the
audience. "These next few months will be defining moments. How we depart
Afghanistan will be the yardstick of how the war in Afghanistan will be
measured for years to come."
"Do not let previous deployments guide your perceptions of the current
operating environment," said Army Col. Gregory Boyd, the CMRE commander.
"As you have already seen in your short time here, conditions change
Boyd referred to the complex challenges facing CMRE as they carry out
the downsizing of International Security Assistance Force's footprint in
Afghanistan. The 17th CSSB will be helping to manage a steady,
responsible drawdown of personnel and equipment as America prepares to
transition from Operation Enduring Freedom to the next phase of our
nation's commitment in the region, Resolute Support.
For many of the 17th CSSB Soldiers, this is their first deployment. For others, deployment has become a way of life.
"This is my sixth deployment," said Army Staff Sgt. Sean Ryan, a 17th
CSSB platoon sergeant from Port Deposit, Md. "I volunteered to come with
this unit to Afghanistan. I love being here and what I do."
After the ceremony, the 17th CSSB's officers and senior noncommissioned
officers received a brief from their commanding general, Army Brig. Gen.
Donnie Walker of the 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command.
"You've uncased your colors. It's time to rock and roll. Get after this
mission," Walker said after sharing his command philosophy. "You are
empowered. Now go out there and execute violently."
The 17th CSSB is expected to return to their families and friends in Alaska early next year.