13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)

13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)

The 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) was activated at Fort Hood, Texas, as the 13th Support Brigade in September, 1965. As the nation's involvement in Vietnam was increasing, this brigade was formed and tasked with training technical services units to assume combat service support missions in Southeast Asia. The command continued to evolve due to increased missions and changing roles, and, along with similar units, was redesignated as the 13th Support Command (Corps) in 1980, then as the 13th Corps Support Command (COSCOM) in March 1989. As part of Army Transformation, the 13th SC(E) was reflagged in its current configuration on February 16, 2006. A formal ceremony was held on February 23, 2006.

Unit history

Soldiers of the 13th SC(E) first deployed to the Managua earthquake in Nicaragua, to assist in disaster relief from December 23, 1972 to January 19, 1973, of the then 13th Support Brigade with its soldiers serving at Camp Christine, Managua, Nicaragua.

In the fall of 1990, units from the 13th SC(E) deployed to Saudi Arabia to provide combat support and combat service support during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. During Operation Desert Calm and Operation Provide Comfort, SC(E) soldiers deployed to the Persian Gulf area. In 1992, 13th SC(E) soldiers deployed to Cuba to aid Haitian refugees during Operation Safe Harbor, and later assisted victims of Hurricane Andrew in Florida. 13th SC(E) soldiers led the way as III Corps units deployed to Kuwait to train and ensure the peace in support of Operation Intrinsic Action.

In 1992, the U.S. Central Command established Unified Task Force Somalia (UNITAF) in light of the worsening situation in Somalia and 13th SC(E) was called to duty again. 13th SC(E) Commander Brig. Gen. Billy K. Solomon deployed along with a portion of the headquarters to Mogadishu to serve as the nucleus of Joint Task Force Support Command. Their major units included the 593d Support Group (Fort Lewis), 36th Engineer Group (Fort Benning), 7th Transportation Group (Fort Eustis), and 62d Medical Group (Fort Lewis). Soldiers of the Lucky 13th returned in May 1993.

From October through December 1994, 13th SC(E) soldiers provided multifunctional logistical support to Army Forces supporting Operation Vigilant Warrior in Kuwait. Units of the 13th SC(E) conducted humanitarian and/or peacekeeping missions in Cuba as part of Operation Sea Signal V, Haiti Operation Uphold Democracy, Honduras JTF-B, Operation Strong Support, and were a part of Stabilization Force (SFOR) 6 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The 13th SC(E) also deployed their engineers to Thule, Greenland, for additional support missions.

Soldiers from the command have responded to the call to lend a hand, whether it was removing snow in Massachusetts, aiding flood victims in Louisiana, processing refugees in Arkansas, fighting forest fires in Montana, assisting earthquake victims in Mexico or helping flood victims in Curio, Texas.

Following the attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon, elements of the 13th SC(E) supported Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Operation Iraqi Freedom again saw 13th SC(E) units deployed including 64th Corps Support Group directly supporting the 4th Infantry Division. Elements of the 49th Movement Control Battalion have been continuously deployed in the region since 1997 and remain a critical node supporting all U.S. and coalition forces.

13th SC(E) first deployed a Medical Evacuation Headquarters and an Air Evacuation Company on February 12, 2003, to Kuwait. Those units were to reposition forces as required to support the president’s global war on terrorism. Eventually, the 13th SC(E) deployed both of its local Brigades in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom while the Headquarters and separate units supported the families at Fort Hood, Texas.

However, in August 2003, the call came once again for the soldiers of the 13th SC(E) headquarters to participate in the ongoing operations in Iraq. In preparation for its first major deployment since Somalia, The 13th SC(E) colors were cased in a deployment and retreat ceremony held on the afternoon of December 18, 2004, at Sadowski Field on Fort Hood.

On January 31, 2004, the 13th SC(E) completed a transfer of authority with the 3rd Corps Support Command at Life Support Area (LSA) Anaconda in Balad, Iraq, and assumed C2 to provide logistical support to Coalition Joint Task Force Seven in Iraq, later redesignated as the Multinational Corps, Iraq (MNC-I).

Major units serving with the 13th SC(E) for OIF II were the Corps Distribution Command (Provisional), the 172nd Corps Support Group (Broken Arrow, Oklahoma), the 504th PIR(-) (Jan-Apr 04) (Fort Bragg, North Carolina)), the 81st BCT(-) (Apr-Dec 04) (WAARNG), 593rd Corps Support Group (Fort Lewis, Washington), 167th Corps Support Group (Londonderry, New Hampshire), and the 300th Area Support Group (Fort Lee, Virginia).

On December 12, 2004, the 13th Corps Support Command said farewell to LSA Anaconda as it transferred authority to the 1st Corps Support Command. During its time at LSA Anaconda, the 13th SC(E) processed 2,000 tons of mail; averaged over 200 convoys a day for a total of 62,000 convoys involving 750,000 vehicles; and was responsible for quality of life improvements for the joint forces. The 13th SC(E) uncased its colors, again on Sadowski Field, at Fort Hood, Texas, on January 21, 2005.

The 13th SC(E) became the first COSCOM to transform to a Sustainment Command and deploy to combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08.

The command’s primary mission is to provide combat support and combat service support in the areas of supply, maintenance, transportation, field services, medical, general engineering & construction, smoke generation, biological detection and decontamination.

At Fort Hood, the 13th SC(E) currently has the specific missions of:

  • Providing command and control of all assigned and attached units.
  • Providing Combat Service Support to Fort Hood units through:
    • Direct Support Maintenance to non-divisional units
    • General Support maintenance and back up direct support maintenance to the 1st Cavalry Division and the 4th Infantry Division
    • Support to additional installation activities and functions, as directed.

Crest

The crest was originally approved for the 13th Support Brigade on August 11, 1966, and re-designated for the 13th Corps Support Command, effective May 13, 1975. The 13th SC(E) retained the crest, shoulder patch and lineage as it redesignated to a sustainment command.

The crest is a yellow octagon with a ⅛ inch blue border 2½ inches in height overall, a scarlet saltier throughout surmounted by a blue star of thirteen points fimbriate in yellow.

The octagon reinforced by the saltier refers to the unit's mission of supporting the combat, combat support and combat service support organizations of the Corps. The star symbolizes the many far reaching missions of the command, and having thirteen points, the star also alludes to its numerical designation. The octagon is a symbol of regeneration; it alludes to the combat service support functions of the unit as constantly renewing the strength and vigor of the Corps.

Yellow (substituted for Quartermaster buff) alludes to the supply and service functions of the command. Scarlet (substituted for Ordnance crimson and Transportation brick red) alludes to the maintenance and transportation functions of the command. The blue represents other support rendered by the command. This combination identifies the colors which are used in the flags of combat service support organizations.

Organization

Currently, the 13th SC(E) is Fort Hood's third largest unit with a local strength of almost 6,000 soldiers. It is composed of various battalions and detachments.

Previous leaders

  • Former Commanders:
    • BG Michael Terry
    • BG James Chambers
    • BG William Laenears
  • Former Command Sergeants Major
    • CSM Dan Elder

External links

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