News: 840th Deployment Distribution Support Battalion changes command in theater
A new leader took the helm of the 840th Deployment Distribution Support Battalion on Jan. 17 during a ceremony at Logistical Support Area Anaconda.
Lt. Col. Todd Robbins replaced Lt. Col. Patrick Lyons as head of a small group of Soldiers and sailors who, among other things, help redeploying servicemembers get home quickly and efficiently.
"We provide redeployment support in the form of redeployment support teams," Capt. John Lenart, 840th operations OIC said. "Our guys look over the paperwork to make sure it's right and verify dimensional data."
The 840th recently designed a new way of getting Soldiers out of theater more efficiently. They are testing the system on the redeploying 3rd Infantry Division.
"It remains to be seen," Lyons said, "but it could save up to 10 days for Soldiers."
Normally, when a unit redeploys, it has to take its vehicles to different stops in Kuwait before it loads them up to ship them home.
"The 3rd ID will go straight from here to the wash racks," Lenart said.
Robbins said he was honored to take over such an important mission and hopes he can continue to improve. Lyons said Robbins was up to the task.
"I don't know how the Army did it," Lyons said, "but they got the right man for the job. I can't think of a better guy to do this job."
Brig. Gen. Maynard Sanders from the MIlitary Surface Deployment and Distribution Command presided over the change of command ceremony. He invoked the St. Crispin's Day speech from Shakespeare's "Henry V," calling the 840th a "band of brothers."
"All of us are being honored today," Sanders said as he spoke of the qualifications of both Robbins and Lyons.
After Lyons passed the unit colors to Robbins, Sanders awarded Lyons with a Bronze Star. Lyons" son, Pfc. Zachary Lyons, an infantryman with Co. A, 222nd Infantry, 10th Mountain Division, stood at attention next to his father during the award ceremony.
Pfc. Lyons works out of Camp Liberty, but was on LSA Anaconda that day for training on the Common Remotely Operated Weapon System, or CROWS.
"He got to come and see me graduate from basic," Pfc. Lyons said. "It's nice to be able to return the favor."
Pfc. Lyons was going to college in Anchorage, Alaska, and said that he's been able to see his father more during this deployment than he has in a long time.
During Lt. Col. Lyon's year in Iraq, he and his team provided redeployment support to 18 major subordinate commands and almost 1,000 units. They processed over 20,000 records, and inspected over 5,000 containers. They also helped track down and switch out borrowed cargo containers that were costing the Army over $10 million a month.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, those attending sang the Army Song and then headed to the refreshment table to get a piece of cake, on which was written in pink icing, "Conradulations LTC Robbins, Farewll LTC Lyons."
Though the words were misspelled, the idea was just right.