Lone sustainment battalion plays key role in Afghanistan

| August 8, 2013 | 0 Comments
Staff Sgt. Brandon Barrett, from Tishamingo, Okla., with the 1245th Transportation Company, 524 Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, out of McAlister Okla., directs the loading of a CONNEX for transportation and retrograde. (Photo Capt. Mark Mastin, 524th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion)

Staff Sgt. Brandon Barrett, from Tishamingo, Okla., with the 1245th Transportation Company, 524 Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, out of McAlister Okla., directs the loading of a CONNEX for transportation and retrograde. (Photo Capt. Mark Mastin, 524th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion)

Maj. Brian T. Donahue
524th  Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 45th Sust. Brigade, 8th Theater Sust. Command

CAMP MARMAL, Afghanistan — “Do the right thing and always treat others with dignity and respect.”

These are the words of the Lt. Col. James M. Droppleman, the commander of the 524th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 45th Sustainment Brigade, who is currently deployed, here, as Task Force Hannibal.

The battalion, also known as the “Make a Way” battalion, deployed in July of this year, is now the single U.S. logistics headquarters in Regional Command North in Afghanistan.

Task Force Hannibal’s force structure greatly reduced when the unit deployed to Afghanistan; however, the unit is truly a model of “do more with less.”

The 524th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, is assembled at its casing ceremony for Afghanistan. (Photo by Capt. Mark Mastin, 524th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion)

The 524th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, is assembled at its casing ceremony for Afghanistan. (Photo by Capt. Mark Mastin, 524th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion)

As the single sustainment unit in RC North, the 524th CSSB is charged with streamlining the retrograde of equipment out of Afghanistan. The battalion is spearheading base closures throughout northern Afghanistan and is playing a critical role in enabling responsible drawdown of U.S. forces.

Located at Mazar-i-Sharif, Task Force Hannibal is the go-to unit for retrograde operations and is tasked with the securing the strategic flow of equipment and critical commodities, flowing through northern Afghanistan with destinations throughout central, eastern and southern Afghanistan. This mission will exponentially grow in importance as forces draw down and retrograde increases.

“The Army leverages multiple options to move or dispose of the substantial amount of containerized materiel and equipment in Afghanistan to meet the president’s 2014 deadline,” said Droppleman. “Commanders will look for every avenue to move equipment out. Our focus is on the safety and health of our troops while maximizing efficiency at the lowest cost.”

As the battalion closes in on completing its next month of deployment, with continued hard work, the resilient Soldiers of Task Force Hannibal will undoubtedly add to the historic and proud lineage of the “Make a Way” battalion.

(Editor’s note: Donahue is the executive officer, 524th CSSB.)

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Category: Deployed Forces, News

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