News: 710th BSB transfers authority to 782nd BSB
Story by Sgt. Melissa Stewart
FORWARD OPERATING BASE PASAB, Afghanistan - Soldiers in 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 10th Mountain Division, were replaced by soldiers in 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, in a transfer of authority ceremony held at Forward Operating Base Pasab, March 8.
Lt. Col. Jered Helwig, commander of 710th BSB and Command Sgt. Maj. Shelton Williamson, command sergeant major of 710th BSB, cased the unit colors, symbolically ending their yearlong deployment to the Zharay and Maiwand districts of Kandahar province, Afghanistan.
A unit’s colors are a symbol of the unit. Traditionally, soldiers will follow their colors into battle. While a unit is deployed, the colors will remain uncased, demonstrating to the soldiers that the mission is still active. By casing the colors in front of a formation, the soldiers know that their mission is completed. 710th BSB colors will remain cased until the soldiers redeploy to Fort Drum, NY.
Lt. Col. Timothy M. Gilhool, commander of 782nd BSB, and Command Sgt. Maj. Ian Guy, command sergeant major of 782nd BSB, uncased their unit colors, officially replacing 710th BSB and beginning their deployment.
Support units like 710th BSB and 782nd BSB play a vital role on the battlefield that often goes unnoticed. Soldiers in 710th BSB have spent the past year working tirelessly to support combat arms soldiers by providing them with supplies, medical care, and transportation.
“An expert soldier knows that an Army’s overall success on the battlefield depends on the timely and prompt evacuation and care of its wounded warriors, the efficient flow of supplies to the units at the front, as well as the repair of its combat equipment. Without those critical capabilities, any Army will fail in its missions,” Col. Patrick D. Frank said at the TOA ceremony.
In addition to supporting their fellow soldiers, they have worked closely with soldiers in the 5th Kandak, 205th Afghan National Army Corps, who are co-located with 710th BSB on FOB Pasab, to improve the local bazaars, build schools and clinics, and improve Highway 1, which is the main thoroughfare of the province.
“No matter what the task, the soldiers figured out a way to say ‘yes,’” Helwig said.
“From welding bridges to flagpoles to even a prosthetic limb for a young Afghan amputee; to dropping critically-needed supplies to soldiers on the front lines through LCLA drops; to treating injured patients who benefit from having the best medical providers possible, the Soldiers of the Spartan Support battalion have done it all. No task was too large for the 710th soldiers to handle, and it was through their ingenuity and selfless service that our soldiers created visible progress for all residents of Zharay and Maiwand districts before their own eyes,” Frank said of the soldiers in 710th BSB.
Soldiers in 710th BSB made tremendous gains in the Zharay and Maiwand districts during their deployment. Now the torch has been passed on to soldiers in 782nd BSB, who are well-trained and ready to continue supporting soldiers on the battlefield and making a difference in Afghanistan.
“Spartan soldiers from the 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, who have been training hard for this mission at Fort Bragg, N.C., will now officially join the Regional Command-South team and continue the forward momentum for the Afghan people. Supporting an area two-thirds the size of Delaware, with nearly 50 kilometers of Highway-1 running through the center, these two brigade support battalions exemplify visible progress for all to see,” Frank said.
The transition between the two battalions went smoothly and prepared 782nd BSB for their tough fight in Kandahar Province, the “Heart of the Taliban.”
“I wish the best to the 782nd as they take on this mission; I know that they are a great organization of the highest caliber,” Helwig said. “They have already hit the ground running and will continue to provide the momentum for Fury to get the job done.”