ZUTENDAAL, Belgium –
During her recent visit to the U.S. Army Sustainment Command’s headquarters, Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth said it was amazing that U.S.-based troops deployed to Europe earlier this year were able to fall in on prepositioned equipment and be out training in the field within a week.
Responsible for two of five Army Prepositioned Stocks-2 sites in Europe, Army Field Support Battalion-Benelux Commander Lt. Col. Aaron Jones played a significant role in these efforts, but on June 16 Jones completed his final mission with the battalion.
As outgoing commander of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade’s Benelux battalion, Jones relinquished command of AFSBn-Benelux to incoming commander Lt. Col. Blake Smith during a change of command ceremony at the Zutendaal APS-2 worksite in Belgium.
Jones’ next assignment will be with U.S. Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, as its inspector general.
Smith arrives to AFSBn-Benelux from Charlotte, North Carolina, where he served as the professor of military science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He was commissioned as a quartermaster officer upon graduating from Wake Forest University, North Carolina, in 2004. He commanded a forward support company with the 82nd Airborne Division, and while assigned to Joint Special Operations Command he served as a logistics detachment commander, aide de camp, headquarters company commander, support troop commander, support operations officer and the director of JSOC’s supply and logistics directorate.
The commander of the 405th AFSB, Col. Brad Bane, attended the change of command ceremony. As the presiding officer, Bane accepted the battalion’s colors from Jones and passed it to Smith, officially signifying the change of command.
During his remarks Bane spoke highly of Jones and his two years in command of AFSBn-Benelux, adding that Jones came up with the battalion motto “heart, might, mind and strength” during his tenure.
“Nothing better amplifies the type of leader Aaron Jones is than these four simple words,” Bane said. “Aaron Jones and this unit were tested and have lived up to their motto and all aspects of it.”
“When you read the U.S. Army lineage and history of this unit in the future, there will be a large section dedicated to the feats of strength you and your team have accomplished in the last six months,” Bane said to Jones. “You have proved that APS-2 can work to deter our adversaries and protect our allies in Europe. You have left an undeniable legacy, which will be spoken of for years to come.”
During his ceremonial remarks, Jones spent much of his time highlighting his people and the work they do at the APS-2 sites in Zutendaal and Eygelshoven, Netherlands. He provided short yet poignant anecdotal examples of the above-and-beyond work his team has done to support Soldiers.
“I want every member of this battalion to know that what you have done really matters and has made a difference,” said Jones. “It really warms my heart to see you putting in your all – your heart, might, mind and strength – to make sure that our mission was done well and done right.”
“I’m proud to have had the honor and privilege to work with you all, and I truly hope that our paths will one day cross again,” Jones said. “Battalion Benelux – Team Zutendaal and Eygelshoven – keep doing what you are doing with all your heart, might, mind and strength.”
When it was his turn to speak as the new commander of AFSBn-Benelux, Smith kept his remarks short and to the point, focusing on the people of AFSBn-Benelux, primarily.
“It’s my honor to be welcomed as part of this team,” Smith said. “We directly support the warfighter, and that’s done by people. Without the people here, the people on the other end who receive this equipment cannot do their job."
“I have no doubt you will excel in your duties here in the Benelux and continue the great traditions and body of work this battalion produced over the last two years,” Bane said to Smith.
Battalion Benelux is one of four battalions assigned to the 405th AFSB. The battalion provides mission command of APS-2 operations at Eygelshoven and Zutendaal, and is charged with providing and coordinating receipt, transfer, storage and maintenance of APS-2. This enables commanders to conduct unified action and perform a full range of military operations in support of U.S. Army Europe and Africa. The Eygelshoven APS-2 site provides 450,000 square feet of climate controlled warehouse space in nine warehouses as well as 50,000 square feet of hardstand storage to hold and maintain APS-2 equipment sets. The Zutendaal APS-2 site maintains equipment designated for a sustainment brigade and separate reporting units and encompasses 600,000 square feet of climate controlled warehouse space in 15 warehouses as well as 40,000 square feet of hardstand storage.
The 405th AFSB is assigned to U.S. Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa. The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides materiel enterprise support to U.S. Forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology; and leveraging the U.S. Army Materiel Command materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website at www.afsbeurope.army.mil and the official Facebook site at www.facebook.com/405thAFSB.