39th Trans. Bn. changes leaders on eve of deployment

by Angelika Lantz
21st TSC Public Affairs

The 39th Transportation Battalion welcomed its new leader during a change of command ceremony at the parade field on Panzer Kaserne May 13. Lt. Col. E. Lee English assumed command of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s 39th Trans. Bn. from Lt. Col. Robert Curran, who has spent the past 21 months as its leader.

Colonel Curran said it had been a distinct honor and privilege to command the 39th Trans. Bn. and remarked on the accomplishments of its military and civilian personnel, calling them the “heart, soul and energy of the battalion.”

“Many of these Soldiers before you have multiple tours of 12 and 15 months in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom,” he said. “Many of our 39th civilians have served 20, 30 and 40 years for the U.S. Army. Our Soldiers and civilians come together to create quite a team, who perform their missions at the highest of standards.”

Besides the change in leadership, the Soldiers of the 39th Trans. Bn. are faced with another critical change with their upcoming deployment to Kuwait in support of OIF. As a movement-control battalion, the 39th Trans. Bn. will synergize with the movement-control battalion in Iraq and will have command and control for the theater transportation of all assets within Kuwait and from Kuwait into Iraq.

When Colonel Curran addressed the new commander, he spoke of high-adventure times.

 “You will make history on this upcoming deployment with the high-profile redeployment surge mission in OIF. Thanks for taking the baton in stride,” he said.
Colonel English, too, was focused on the deployment.
“I am proud and excited to be standing before you as your new commander on the eve of a deployment,” he said. “Truth be told, I was a little concerned about the speed of the sequence of events which have brought us to today and will continue through the deployment.”

Colonel English said his apprehension was dispelled once he met the people at 39th Trans. Bn.

“Much of my concern, however, has been laid to rest as I’ve been welcomed into the unit and have experienced, first hand, the professionalism of the Soldiers and civilians that make up this great battalion,” Colonel English said.

The ceremony also marked two additional changes for the 39th Trans. Bn. The colors of the 606th Movement Control Team will depart from Mannheim, Germany, July 15 to signify the team’s relocation to Fort Bliss, Texas, and the command and control of the 5th Quartermaster Company will transfer from the 39th Trans. Bn. to the 21st TSC’s Special Troops Battalion May 16.