LIVORNO, Italy, –
Lt. Col. Crystal Hills relinquished command of the Army Field Support Battalion–Africa to Lt. Col. Michelle Agpalza during a change of command ceremony held at the Army Prepositioned Stock-2 warehouse at Leghorn Army Depot, June 1.
Col. Rodney H. Honeycutt, the commander of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade, officiated the ceremony. Honeycutt acknowledged the accomplishments of the command under the leadership of Hills and the important role AFSBn-Africa continues to play throughout the African continent.
Among the distinguished leaders, logisticians, Italian allies, family members, friends and battalion personnel attending the ceremony was retired Col. Nilgun Nesbett, who was commander when the Leghorn Army Depot was first designated as battalion in 1994.
“This is a special change of command for me. I came here today especially to see the command of this battalion going from one woman to another,” Nesbett said.
Under Hills’ leadership, the battalion successfully fulfilled its mission of receiving, maintaining, storing and issuing Army Prepositioned Stocks, linking national logistics capabilities and providing logistics solutions to Army units “South of the Alps,” particularly the 173rd Airborne Combat Brigade, U.S. Army Africa, and other strategic partners.
Hills also played a key role in enabling the Defense Security Cooperation Agency Humanitarian Assistance Program to efficiently receive, store, maintain, and ship critical humanitarian assistance stocks to countries in need throughout the world.
“Our battalion has the best mission a logistician can ask for. We not only specialize in all three logistics functions – supply, transportation and maintenance – we also expertly support both strategic and operational missions – and not only is this support to the U.S. Army but to the Joint Forces, and our allied and partner nations,” Hills said.
The outgoing commander thanked her brigade command team for their faith and confidence in her leadership. Acknowledging the unique makeup of the battalion with a majority of civilian employees and a small percentage of military personnel, Hills thanked the workforce in both English and Italian for their dedication and hard work.
“All ‘Victory Battalion’ employees, please stand and be recognized with a round of applause for your relentless hard work,” Hills said.
The incoming commander, Agpalza, thanked her predecessor for her hard work, focus and dedication to the battalion’s mission. “You have built and developed an outstanding team within the battalion and I can’t thank you enough for that,” she said.
Agpalza also thanked Honeycutt, who will relinquish command June 19, for his guidance and vision for AFSBn–Africa.