13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) commander meets with 'Wagonmaster' leaders

13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)
Story by Sgt. Matthew Cooley

Date: 02.04.2010
Posted: 02.08.2010 05:45
News ID: 45071

CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION Q-WEST, Iraq — Brig. Gen. Paul Wentz, commander of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) out of Fort Hood, Texas, participated in a 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th ESC commander's conference, Feb. 4.

Col. Larry Phelps, 15th Sust. Bde. commander and Greenville, Ala., native, along with the commanders and command sergeants major of each "Wagonmaster" battalion, met with the general to receive his guidance, brief him on battalion-level affairs, and ask questions.

The conference was the second of its kind since 15th took over U.S. military logistical operations for northern Iraq in October, Capt. Elaina Hill, a Fairbanks, Alaska, native and the 15th Sust. Bde. adjunctant, said. The commanders met the first time to discuss the effects of the transfer of authority from 16th Sust. Bde. to 15th Sust. Bde. and future operations. This time, Hill explained, the conference was needed because four additional battalions have come under "Wagonmaster" control since the start of the new year.

The conference was intended to insure that the 13th ESC's priorities were understood and followed at the battalion level and for the battalion commanders and command sergeants major to receive the general's guidance personally, Lt. Col. Joe Dixon, commander of 260th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sust. Bde., and Chicago, native, said.

"[It's] so he can look battalion commanders and command sergeants major in the eye," Dixon said.

According to Dixon, one of the main topics of discussion was Strategic Reposturing of Equipment and Personnel or SREP — part of the Army's continuing effort to reduce its presence in the country.

The brigade's battalions are spread out over an area roughly the size of the state of Minnesota, Phelps said in a message to "Wagonmaster" families and Soldiers in January.

"It's great having the whole 'Wagonmaster' team together at one time," Dixon said.

During the conference, Lt. Col. Peter Haas, commander of the 49th Transportation Battalion, 15th Sust. Bde., a Fleetwood, Pa., native explained to Wentz why the conference was a good idea.

"[We] get a chance to talk to you about some things that we don't normally," he said.

Wentz agreed.

The battalion commanders and command sergeants major all had an opportunity to brief the general and voice their concerns.