Support battalion Soldiers get new leadership

Story and photo by Douglas DeMaio
USAG Bamberg Public Affairs

BAMBERG, Germany — Close friends and comrades bid Lt. Col. Ronald E. Pacheco Jr. and his family a fond farewell while welcoming Lt. Col. Christopher S. Luekenga and his family during a change of command ceremony July 24 for 391st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion at the Freedom Fitness Facility.

Lieutenant Colonel Pacheco’s next assignment will be with U.S. Army Europe.

“Changes of command are great opportunities to applaud the tenure of one command team, and to extend a cheerful welcome to the new team,” said Brig.

 Gen. Jimmie Jaye Wells, commanding general of the 7th Civil Support Command and the deputy commanding general of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command. “As we lose one outstanding command team, we are fortunate to welcome another to our ranks.”

Under Lieutenant Colonel Pacheco’s three-year tenure, the unit faced many challenges.

From deployments and executing complex missions to moving the organization to Bamberg, Lieutenant Colonel Pacheco led the battalion through thick and thin, Brigadier General Wells said. During his command, the battalion’s personnel had fluctuated from more than 1,000 personnel to a mere 26.

“I would like to think that this chapter we’ve completed brings as much honor to the battalion as the previous years in its storied lineage,” Lieutenant Colonel Pacheco said. “Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the here and now that we forget these battalion colors flew and Soldiers served under it in the most difficult conflicts of our nation’s history, but I am proud to say that I stood as its commander in combat and that I also served with the ‘Firepower for Landpower’ battalion.

 “The one true crowning glory that means more than anything else … is my being able to say that not a single Soldier was seriously wounded or killed during the entire 37 months while they were a part of this battalion,” Lieutenant Colonel Pacheco said.

Lieutenant Colonel Luekenga said he was excited to lead the battalion through a new chapter in history and that he and his wife, Amy Luekenga, look forward to forging new relationships with members of the community.

“To the Soldiers and civilians of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, 16th Sustainment Brigade, U.S. Army Garrison Bamberg and the great city of Bamberg, I look forward to serving and forging new relationships with you all,” Lieutenant Colonel Luekenga said. “Amy and I are excited about our new mission and being a part of a first-class team and community.”

A day before the change of command there was a change of responsibility ceremony for the battalion’s senior enlisted Soldier.

Command Sgt. Maj. Kent Mace changed responsibility with Command Sgt. Maj. David Emerick.