by Angelika Lantz
21st Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs
***image2***It was a day as hot as it was historically significant for the 400 Soldiers participating in the activation of the 16th Sustainment Brigade July 16 at Warner Barracks parade field in Bamberg.
During the two-part ceremony, in the 100-degree heat, Col. Martin Pitts and Command Sgt. Maj. James Spencer first cased the colors of the “Onward with Support,” 7th Corps Support Group to signify that unit’s deactivation. They unfurled the 16th SB’s colors and placed them to fly alongside the American and German flags in the color guard formation, to symbolize the brigade’s activation.
The new sustainment brigade, which comes under the command of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command headquartered in Kaiserslautern, is part of the Army’s transformation campaign plan, conceived to bridge the past and the future.
“This transformation process takes us from a legacy era with limited capabilities and a Cold War ethos, to a modular expeditionary era with more capabilities and a honed warrior ethos that makes us a very capable and expeditionary force prepared to answer our nation’s call,” said Colonel Pitts, who took command of the 16th SB after commanding the 7th CSG for the past year.
The 16th SB will be the only enduring brigade-sized logistics unit within the U.S. Army in Europe. As such, the brigade faces a momentous challenge. They will not only retain all current logistics functions and responsibilities, but will assimilate additional services, like finance, medical and signal capabilities, said Lt. Col. Russell Cole, the brigade’s deputy commander.
Additionally, the brigade’s mission will change from USAREUR-focused support, to sustaining Army units across the world, when deployed, Colonel Cole said.