News: 13th ESC soldiers return home for holidays
Story by Staff Sgt. Jason Thompson
FORT HOOD, Texas – Christmas arrived a few weeks early as 126 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command soldiers returned home from a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan during a welcome home ceremony, Dec. 9.
While deployed, the 13th ESC served as the Deputy Commander - Support Operations for the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan and was responsible for developing the Afghan National Security Force’s logistics capabilities and assessing the supporting programs.
“You’ve got to be proud for what they’ve done,” said Brig. Gen. Clark LeMasters, commanding general, 13th ESC, speaking about his soldiers accomplishments following the uncasing of the unit’s colors, signifying the return of the Phantom Support Command to Fort Hood.
“We accomplished a mission a unit like ours was not designed for,” he continued. “I hope you’re as proud of them as I am because they made a difference. They made a huge impact, not only to the Afghan National Army, but also the Afghan National Police. They put in place relationships and put in place a system that is going to help the Afghan Security Forces for years to come.”
During their deployment, 13th ESC soldiers trained more than 4,700 ANSF members on various tasks ranging from basic maintenance skills to supply management and on the use of the newly developed ANSF logistics automation system.
In the past quarter, under the guidance and mentorship of DCOM-SPO personnel, the Afghan Ministry of Interior’s Support Command delivered 534 commercial truckloads of materiel including more than 1,000 pallets of supplies from the national depot to the Regional Logistics Centers.
Completing the mission is always the number one priority for the soldiers, but reintegration is just as important as the mission, said Command Sgt. Maj. Terry Parham Sr., the senior enlisted leader for 13th ESC.
“We’re going to make sure we take care of the soldiers and get everyone readjusted back home, and then we’ll be ready to train for the next mission presented to us.”
Following the ceremony, the soldiers were released to their families for some well-deserved time off prior to returning to work for some important reintegration training.