The commanding general of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, Maj. Gen. John R. O’Connor, traveled to four separate military installations dispersed throughout northern Italy during a site visit conducted Sept. 10 and 11.
O’Connor visited with representatives from more than 10 Army and Air Force units in an effort to better understand the operational environment in Italy and how the various units collaborate with the 21st TSC.
“Engaging our Soldiers in Italy was a great opportunity for me to see firsthand the size and scope of the 21st TSC’s mission and how the units there support us,” O’Connor said. “When I see the great things our Soldiers are doing, it reminds me that we really are ‘First in Support’ for the European theater.”
Beginning at Aviano Air Base, O’Connor visited with the base’s Army liaison. He subsequently received a briefing from parachute riggers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team at their rigging facilities.
O’Connor toured the rigging facilities and discussed the future requirements of the riggers.
During the remainder of the trip, O’Connor visited the headquarters of U.S. Army Africa at Caserma Ederle in Vincenza, Italy, as well as the 731st Munitions Squadron, the 839th Transportation Battalion and the 21st TSC’s 405th Army Field Support Battalion-Italy, all located on Camp Darby in Pisa, Italy. Afterward, he toured the Leghorn Army Depot adjacent to Camp Darby.
“I think it’s important to give him visibility on what assets he has and make him more aware of what he has so he can use it for whatever strategic needs there are,” said Master Sgt. Tadly Peterson, the senior enlisted adviser for the 405th AFSB-Italy. “It will give him an idea of how we operate and how he can use us for whatever mission he needs support on.”
It is very valuable “for a commander to get out and see his troops within the first 90 days and make his assessment of where his command is,” said Capt. Christopher B. Jones, the 21st TSC commanding general’s aide de camp. “He can get an accurate pulse of his command and see where he needs to put his time and effort in influencing and shaping the organization he is now in command of and how he can influence events on the battlefield.”
Aside from touring facilities and meeting with leaders and Soldiers, O’Connor also participated in a Sept. 11 memorial 5-kilometer run while on Camp Darby.
The run “was great, and there was a large turnout,” Jones said. “Camp Darby is a very small
military base, and we got 100 percent turnout of all eligible members.”
“It was very well put together, and the (commanding general) enjoyed it,” Jones added. “He especially enjoyed the participation from our NATO allies.”