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NEWS | June 28, 2022

405th AFSB’s Germany battalion welcomes new command team during official ceremony

By Cameron Porter 405th Army Field Support Brigade

Army Field Support Battalion-Germany conducted a dual change of command and assumption of responsibility ceremony on the main parade field at Tower Barracks in Grafenwoehr, June 24.

The outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Rebecca Milkowski-Gerdelman, passed the unit colors of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade’s Germany battalion to the incoming commander, Lt. Col. Denny Bernacki, signifying the change of command. Also during the ceremony, Master Sgt. Randolph Leyba assumed responsibility of AFSBn-Germany as the battalion’s senior enlisted advisor.

The commander of the 405th AFSB, Col. Brad Bane, officiated the change of command and assumption of responsibility ceremony and provided guest remarks. Bane said over the past two years Milkowski led AFSBn-Germany through a myriad of high-visibility, no-fail missions under extremely stressful time constraints – all with superior results.

“The accomplishments of this battalion in a two-year period are simply amazing – a complete testament to not only the team but to Lt. Col. Milkowski’s work ethic, leadership and ability to quickly grasp intent, execute and get results,” Bane said.

When Bane welcomed the new commander of AFSBn-Germany, he told Bernacki he knows he’s well prepared and knows he’ll be successful. Bane also welcomed the entire Bernacki family.

“The mission will be challenging but take the time when you can to experience all that Europe has to offer,” said Bane. “This is a once in a lifetime cultural education that you would never be able to buy or go to school to get. Get out there and enjoy it.”

Milkowski’s next assignment will be with the U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command, leading the CASCOM commander’s planning and initiatives group.

Bernacki arrives to AFSBn-Germany from Fort Lee, Virginia, where he was assigned to U.S. Army Futures Command’s Sustainment Capability Development Integration Directorate as the Cross Functional Team Sustainment Integration and Modernization team chief. He also served with the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, Army Field Support Battalion-Hood and many other units and organizations both as an officer and as an enlisted Soldier during his 24 years of service.

Leyba, who is currently pulling double duty as the command sergeant major of the 405th AFSB and AFSBn-Germany’s senior enlisted advisor, has over 22 years of service with the Army. He is enrolled in the Sergeant Major Academy’s distant learning course, Class 48. Some of his previous assignments include U.S. Army Materiel Command headquarters; 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division; 8th Theater Sustainment Command; 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division; and more.

During her remarks Milkowski explained in detail why she is so proud of her team and all that they have accomplished during her two years as the AFSBn-Germany commander.

“As the world changed significantly over the past 24 months, battalion Germany accepted every challenge,” Milkowski said, “from taking on the issue of (Army Prepositioned Stocks-2) equipment to (1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment) as part of the current package one, executing the first-ever divestiture of equipment in theater for a redeploying (Regionally Aligned Forces Armored Brigade Combat Team) … and then doing it again for (1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment) two months later, executing both command and control and forward (Equipment Configuration and Handoff Area) operations and the movement of equipment in support of DEFENDER-Europe 20+, DEFENDER-Europe 21 and DEFENDER-Europe 22, and assuming command and control of the Dülmen APS-2 worksite.”

“We also executed configured for combat, making sure that our APS-2 stocks were complete and ready to go at a moment’s notice, and we converted our fleet over to the red, amber, green maintenance cycle. And most recently, we worked in concert with all five APS-2 sites in Europe to issue equipment to XVIII Airborne Corps in support of NATO’s response to the Ukraine crisis, and we partnered with battalion Mannheim in the receipt, staging and issue of ABCT 2.1 to the mighty Raider Brigade right here in beautiful Grafenwoehr Training Area,” Milkowski added. 

“I will always be humbled by what this battalion has accomplished, and I could not be more proud of each and every member of this team. It’s been a remarkable ride,” she said.

“I’m genuinely excited to lead this great unit,” said Bernacki after taking command of AFSBn-Germany.

“Don’t let the lack of a formation here deceive you,” he said. “The Germany battalion is comprised of hundreds of Soldiers, Army civilians and contractors – subject matter experts – that bring an enormous capability to bare on the toughest support challenges across Europe.”

“To the battalion – AFSBn-Germany both here and at the Dülmen worksite – it’s real simple. We will take care of each other, support the mission and support the warrior,” said Bernacki.  

Leyba echoed much of what Milkowski and Bernacki said during their remarks, but he also took time to specifically thank the brigade commander and former brigade command sergeant major, Command Sgt. Major Kofie Primus, for their trust and confidence in him as he stepped into the shoes of Primus, dually serving as the 405th AFSB’s acting senior enlisted leader and AFSBn-Germany’s senior enlisted advisor.

“I want to say thank you to everybody. I really appreciate it. Support the warrior. It’s what we do. Enable the force,” said Leyba.

Battalion Germany is one of four battalions assigned to the 405th AFSB. Headquartered at Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Germany, AFSBn-Germany is responsible for providing and coordinating tactical and operational sustainment to ensure theater readiness and enable commanders to conduct a full range of military operations in direct support of U.S. Army Europe and Africa. Germany battalion provides logistics assistance to commanders confronted with challenges beyond their resources or capabilities. The battalion performs this function through the employment of the U.S. Army Material Command's Logistics Assistance Program, composed of technically proficient Logistics Assistance Representatives from AMC’s Life Cycle Management Commands. The battalion also maintains oversight and mission command of APS-2 operations at Dülmen worksite in Germany, and is charged with providing and coordinating receipt, transfer, storage and maintenance of APS-2.

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 AMC 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.