JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — The 80th Ordnance Battalion assumed authority from the 259th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion during a transfer of authority ceremony, June 17.
The ceremony officially marked the end of a deployment for the 259th CSSB, who provided command and control to over 2,800 Soldiers and Sailors, representing 21 companies throughout its deployment. An Army Reserve unit from Denver, the 259th CSSB's commander was proud of her unit's accomplishments and thanked her troops for their hard work and dedication.
"To the men and women of the 259th CSSB, thank you for executing all of the many tasks that made our accomplishment possible," said Lt. Col. Marci D. Toler, 259th CSSB commander. "It was the greatest privilege and honor to serve with each one of you while executing this logistical distribution mission."
During their combat tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the 259th CSSB supported nearly 400 customer units, executed over 57 transportation movement requests per day and distributed more than 800,000 gallons of water per month to Forward Operating Bases Paliwoda, Caldwell, Normandy and Camp Ashraf supporting over 3,500 coalition forces.
The 259th also completed more than 203 technical inspections and repairs for the M1114 humvees being transferred to the Iraqi army.
"We left our job, communities and families, on June 1, 2008, to come together to train on our warrior tasks and battle drills," said Toler. "But more importantly, as we think back on that, we became a team, ready to accept and execute what was already laid out in front of us."
An active-duty unit based at Fort Lewis, Wash., the 80th Ord. Bn. will provide command and control of assigned or attached companies while deployed to Iraq. The unit has a rich history that dates back to its days as the 80th Ordnance Medium Battalion during World War II, for which it received three campaign streamers.
Designated the 80th Ord. Bn., in 1967, the unit serves as a multifunctional logistics battalion providing transportation, perishable subsistence, petroleum supply and ammunition support to active and reserve component units throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Lt. Col. Christopher O. Mohan, a Carthage, N.C., native and 80th Ord. Bn., commander, acknowledged that his unit has big shoes to fill, but is confident the 80th Ord. Bn., will be up to the task.
"I'll start by personally thanking Lt. Col. Toler and the rest of the Broncos of the 259th CSSB for setting the conditions for our success. You've successfully accomplished your mission and excelled in all areas of sustainment," said Mohan. "We've trained hard for this deployment and I'm confident that we'll carry on the proud tradition of excellence established by the 259th CSSB and our predecessors."