The 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command made its official move from Fort Knox, Kentucky, to Fort Bragg with an uncasing ceremony, Oct. 16, at the Main Post Parade Field.
The 3rd ESC was ordered to move to Fort Bragg to align with its higher headquarters, the XVIII Airborne Corps, to increase synchronization and enhance readiness.
Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg commanding general, welcomed the unit and underlined the importance of the occasion.
“Today marks a significant event for the 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, for the XVIII Airborne Corps and for our nation,” said Townsend. “Welcome to Fort Bragg, home of America’s Contingency Corps, home of the Global Response Force, home of our Domestic Contingency Response Force. I can’t think of a better place for the 3rd ESC to be located.”
Brig. Gen. Christopher J. Sharpsten, 3rd ESC commanding general, echoed his sentiments, “Welcoming this command to Fort Bragg and the XVIII Airborne Corps is going to be a great thing for all of us in this community. It’s a great thing for the ESC, and it’s a great thing for the corps; a great leaping off point. We are finally home with the XVIII Airborne Corps. We’ve been planning this for a long time and it’s good to see our weight finally shifting from one foot to the other.”
While the uncasing represents the move to Fort Bragg for 3rd ESC, Townsend acknowledged that the move is not yet complete.
“Third ESC is still in transit … they’ve got a foot here and they still have a foot at Fort Knox, but the balance of their weight has shifted today, to Fort Brag,” said Townsend.
Sharpsten pointed out the difficulties inherent in moving an entire unit of Soldiers and their Families.
“The people I really want to thank most of all are the people within the 3rd ESC. It’s challenging for those Soldiers and Family members to pick up and take everything they own to a new place, going to a new community.”
Sharpsten cited an example of how 3rd ESC can contribute to the XVIII Abn. Corps mission, mentioning Operation Swift Response, which brought the command to Germany in August.
“(It was) an effort to show that we could launch forces in an expeditionary maneuver, to another continent, and show our flag …show combat power, with our friends, against our enemies.
“For the 3rd ESC to be involved in that, showing what we can do, synchronizing and orchestrating logistics and sustainment effects, across a theatre of operations was tremendously important,” said Sharpsten. “I think what the ESC did there is prove their value and show what we can do for our NATO allies, as well as some of the threats that exist on the NATO frontier right now,” he said.
“We’re going to continue to do that for the XVIII Airborne Corps.Our focus is the corps, and making sure the corps is ready to project combat power when needed. We come to Fort Bragg in order to become a more effective teammate. Being co-located is going to make us that much more powerful for the corps,” said Sharpsten.
“When crisis emerges anywhere on this planet … the first phone calls always come to Fort Bragg. The nation calls Fort Bragg, because Fort Bragg is always ready to respond,” said Townsend. “I know 3rd ESC and its Soldiers will respond the next time we get the call.
“Our Army must be ready. The XVIII Airborne Corps must be ready. The 3rd ESC will be ready.”
Third ESC had been stationed at Fort Knox since June 2007, when the unit moved from Wiesbaden, Germany.