KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — The 82nd Sustainment Brigade “Providers” Headquarters assumed its role as the headquarters for the U.S. Central Command Materiel Recovery Element (CMRE) during a transition of authority ceremony here Oct. 29, taking the reins from the 43rd Sustainment Brigade – CMRE “Rough Riders.”
After officially uncasing their brigade colors, Col. Mark D. Collins, commander, 82nd SB, and Command Sgt. Maj. Alberto Delgado, 82nd SB senior enlisted advisor, accepted responsibility for the mission from Col. Todd A. Heussner, commander, 43rd SB – CMRE, and Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony A. Traylor, senior enlisted advisor, 43rd SB - CMRE.
In its role as CMRE, the 82nd SB, home-based out of Fort Bragg, N.C., will facilitate base closures and transfers of forward operating bases to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan by processing and accounting for equipment as U.S. forces redeploy from Afghanistan. The brigade will also utilize engineer assets to assist in preparing sites for transfer.
As the Providers take on their mission, their counterparts of the Rough Riders Brigade will be headed back to their home station at Fort Carson, Colo. after completing a nine-month tour in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Over the course of their tour, the 43rd SB eliminated a backlog of 4,500 twenty-foot equivalent containers, processed more than 22,000 containers, enabled the closure or transfer of more than 150 bases, and returned more than $400 million in equipment back into the Army’s inventory.
The unit also helped to eliminate risk to Soldiers by sending Forward Retrograde Elements to forward locations, preventing the need to provide escorts for transporting materials back to a hub location. This resulted in keeping 2,500 Soldiers off the roads while also saving the U.S. Government $15 million in transportation costs.
“We saved millions of dollars [in equipment], deconstructed hundreds of bases and thousands of buildings, and most of all we did it safely,” said Heussner, while addressing his troops. “It took an entire team and I’m proud of what you’ve accomplished and who you’ve become. It’s an honor to be on the team and watch you make it happen, and you’ll be recognized for your success.”
“Now the 82nd is here and they’re eager, trained and they’re ready,” he added. “We will continue to help you in any way we can to maintain your momentum.”
After Heussner completed his comments, Collins praised his predecessor’s achievements and stated his brigade’s eagerness to take on the CMRE mission.
“Your team set the standard and set the conditions for our continuation of the mission. Every successful unit sets their counterparts up for success,” said Collins, lauding the 43rd SB. “We’re ready, we’re engaged, first team, strength and respect, Providers all the way.”
Distinguished visitors during the event included host Brig. Gen. Duane A. Gamble, 1st Theater Sustainment Command deputy commanding general, and Maj. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, commander, 4th Infantry Division, among many others.
Additional highlights from the ceremony included honors to the nation and the singing of the Army Song.