“Sustain the victory” were the last words recited by soldiers of the 316th Sustainment Command Expeditionary last week as they prepared to travel to Kuwait. Under the supervision of Pittsburgh native, Colonel David Lee Brown Sr., 240 U.S. Army Reserve troops headed to Fort Hood, Texas for two months to prepare for their nine month journey in Kuwait.
|LEADER OF THE TROOPS—Garfield native Colonel David Brown, readies the troops as they prepare for Kuwait. (Photo by Diane I. Daniels)
The 316th ESC will deploy to Kuwait to support redeployment, retrograde and reposturing of forces, in the Central Command area of operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Their task consists of moving soldiers and equipment.
“I feel great about this,” said Col. Brown, explaining that he and his troops’ job is designed to provide command and control of sustainment forces in an operational theater. “We will control the movement of everything from bullets to beans, fuel and maintenance parts,” he said. Known as a “modular logistics unit,” the 31th ESC is a “plug and play” organization where the unit, as a whole or in parts, could deploy anywhere in the world.
In his 38th year in the military, this marks Col. Brown and his unit’s second deployment. From 2007 to 2008 the 316th ESC provided logistical support to U.S. units, Multi-National Coalition partners and Iraqi Forces in support of all logistical operations. They were the U.S. Army’s first transformation-era modular ESC to deploy to Iraq.
Headquartered in Coraopolis; the 316th ESC has command and control of seven major subordinate commands and two direct reporting units that comprise a total of 120 units with approximately 11,000 soldiers from Pennsylvania through Virginia and Maine.
Colonel Brown, a former Garfield resident and Peabody High School graduate, said he enlisted in the U. S. Army looking for something different. “I wanted a change and to do better for myself.” Since then he has 24 years of commissioned service and from 1983 to now has been promoted from Second Lieutenant, First Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Lieutenant Colonel to Colonel. For 16 months during his active duty assignments he served as Commander of the 49th Quartermaster Group (-) (P&W) (FWD) in Kuwait and as Assistant Joint Petroleum Officer, USCENTOCM J4 at the Mac Dill Air Force Base in Florida. His present assignment is Senior Branch Officer, 1st Brigade, 87th Training Division and 3rd Battle Projection Group in Birmingham, AL.
Upon return from deployment next year, Col. Brown said this will be his last official operation because he has plans to retire and enjoy life and his family.
Taking part in the April 30 departing ceremony were Congressman Tim Murphy, Ambassador Fred Fair and Col. Bruce Hackett.