CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq — The 264th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), transferred authority to 541st CSSB, 15th Sust. Bde., at a ceremony at the main gym here April 1 signaling the end of 264th's Iraq tour.
Brig. Gen. Paul Wentz, 13th ESC commander out of Fort Hood, Texas, was present along with the ceremony's reviewing officer, Col. Larry Phelps, the 15th Sust. Bde. commander and a Greenville, Ala., native.
"Today we are celebrating the next step in operation Provider Horizon, Wentz's plan for realignment of support across Iraq — a plan that will result in over 13,000 providers returning to their homes and loved ones and set the conditions for uninterrupted support to Iraq throughout the drawdown of forces in theater," Phelps said.
The 264th CSSB worked for 12 months to provide logistical support to troops in their area of responsibility. According to Phelps, they received and distributed nearly 5 million bottles of water, 65,000 cases of meals ready to eat, 3000 cases of halal — fit for use under the rules of Islam — meals, and drove more than 3 million miles in over 1200 convoys.
"They have fixed everything a truck driver can break — and that's everything," Phelps joked.
Lt. Col. Steven S. DeBusk, 264th CSSB commander and Elkton, Md., native said he was proud of his Soldiers' accomplishments.
"We hauled, stored and issued over 36 million gallons of fuel, filled over 650,000 requests for supplies, repaired over 3200 vehicles and other equipment, we oversaw a mortuary, we handled over 10,000 containers and we facilitated the turn-in of millions of dollars of excess equipment," he said. "We logisticians love to define ourselves with numbers ...but what you did here isn't a story about numbers; it wasn't a math problem. It was a human story — a Soldier's story."
Before a transfer of authority is carried out, the incoming and outgoing units work side by side to ensure a smooth transition. Elkton expressed his confidence in the abilities of the 541st and Lt. Col. Paul D. Dismer, 541st CSSB commander and a Morgan City, La., native.
"Lt. Col. Dismer, it has been a pleasure to serve with you over the past several months. I leave Iraq in good conscience knowing that you and the 541st staff are well prepared to continue to advance the ball down the field," Elkton said.
Elkton spoke briefly, thanking the 264th for their work and communicating his unit's excitement in undertaking their new mission.