In recent years, the 3rd Corps Support Command has been a key participant in several critical support missions throughout the world. Besides playing a major role in the deployment and redeployment of U.S. Army Europe Soldiers in support of operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, more than 1,600 Soldiers deployed from the 3rd COSCOM to southwest Asia, including Soldiers from the 181 Transportation Battalion and the 16th Corps Support Group.
Elements of the 3rd COSCOM deployed to Zagreb, Croatia, in support of Operation Provide Promise from November 1992 to November 1993. Aviation support Soldiers were deployed to Somalia from December 1992 through May 1993 in support of Operation Restore Hope. From July through December 1993, 3rd COSCOM Soldiers deployed to southwest Asia in support of Operation Provide Cover. Soldiers from every unit in the COSCOM deployed to the Balkans in 1999 in support of Task Force Hawk and Falcon, participating in the NATO-led air campaign in Kosovo to bring stability and peace to the region.
The Global War on Terror
In February 2003, the 3rd COSCOM headquarters deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The command assumed control of over more than 17,000 Soldiers providing logistical support to U.S. and coalition forces. COSCOM units participated in every OIF rotation since 2003, as well as deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The headquarters deployed a second time to Iraq in 2005, assuming control of over 20,000 Soldiers while continuing to provide sustainment and distribution to coalition forces. Upon returning to Germany in September 2006, 3rd COSCOM personnel began preparations to relocate the unit colors for the sixth time in its history. The unit moved to Fort Knox, Kentucky in June 2007 and on Sept. 16, 2007, the 3rd COSCOM transformed into the 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary). After relocating to Fort Knox, the unit received personnel, equipment and the mission to redeploy for a third time to Iraq. From June 20, 2008, until Aug. 7, 2009, the 3rd Sustainment Command assumed responsibility for sustainment and distribution support for all coalition forces in the Iraqi theater of operations. The command provided logistical support and base life support to over 300,000 Soldiers and civilians across Iraq every day, while working with the Iraqi army to improve their logistics capability and make them self-sufficient.
Operation Unified Response - Haiti
Soldiers from the 3rd ESC began deploying to Haiti within a week of the earthquake that devastated the country in January 2010. From Jan. 19 to Feb. 3, the 3rd COSCOM formation grew to a joint logistics command supporting over 18,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, civilians, U.S. Agency for International Development, non-government organization, Defense Visit Office and other governmental agencies. Before redeploying on March 9, 2010, the 3rd ESC provided humanitarian aid and medical support to the Haitian people as well as transportation, field services and sustainment for U.S. forces deployed in and around Haiti.
In garrison, the 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) provides command and control (training and readiness authority) of two sustainment brigades and one transportation company as well as administrative support for an engineer battalion. The 3rd ESC also mentors other ESCs and sustainment brigades as they seek to improve their capabilities and/or prepare to deploy.
Meanwhile, the headquarters is constantly working to prepare itself to deploy and provide command and control, sustainment and distribution management anywhere, in any environment, against any adversary.
(Editorís note: This is the second part of a two-part series on the history of the 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary). For previous history, visit www.paraglideonline.net)