KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany –
Under beautiful blue skies and a gorgeous morning in Germany, the 405th Army Field Support Brigade conducted a change of command ceremony at NCO Field across the street from the brigade headquarters on Daenner Kaserne in Kaiserslautern, June 30.
After serving as the commander of the 405th AFSB for the past two years during a time when the 405th AFSB literally made history, Col. Brad Bane relinquished command of the brigade to the incoming commander, Col. Crystal Hills.
The commanding general of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command at Rock Island, Illinois, Maj. Gen. Chris Mohan, officiated the change of command ceremony and provided guest remarks. Mohan took the time to thank Bane and his family and welcome Hills as the new commander of the 405th AFSB.
“This is a great day. It’s my privilege to be here,” Mohan said.
Mohan also took the time to address all that the 405th AFSB has accomplished over the course of the last couple of years – from supporting multiple DEFENDER-Europe exercises to Operation Allies Refuge and Operation Allies Welcome supporting thousands of displaced Afghan citizens. But most notably, Mohan addressed what the 405th AFSB accomplished over the last several months supporting operations in Europe in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, making history with its Army Prepositioned Stocks-2 and its Logistics Civil Augmentation support programs.
“Russia’s unwarranted invasion of the Ukraine in late February has triggered a defensive action by NATO,” Mohan explained. “We will not give up one inch of NATO territory.”
The 405th AFSB responded by deploying and issuing more Army Prepositioned Stocks than has ever been done before, said Mohan. The 405th AFSB not only supported an entire armored brigade combat team from the 3rd Infantry Division deployed to Europe from the U.S., the brigade also supported a multitude of other units – from the 82nd Airborne Division to the XVIII Airborne Corps, plus several separate companies and other units and organizations.
“You did it on short notice. You prepared, staged, moved and issued thousands – and I’m talking thousands – of weapons and pieces of equipment – full sets, spare parts, armored and tracked vehicles, howitzers, the list goes on and on,” Mohan said.
“All in all, I think it was about 2,000 truckloads,” he added.
A generation of logisticians now understands what this unit, U.S. Army Sustainment Command and U.S. Army Materiel Command bring to the fight, echoed Bane during his remarks.
“Thomas Edison said opportunities are missed by most because they’re dressed in coveralls and look like work. This unit did not miss any opportunities. You donned the coveralls, came together as a team, put the work in and got the job done. You achieved greatness and lived up to our motto ‘Support the Warrior,’” Bane said.
During his remarks, Mohan also talked about the 405th AFSB’s new commander. He told attendees that Hills is no stranger to the brigade or its mission, as she once served as the commander of the 405th AFSB’s Army Field Support Battalion-Africa in Livorno, Italy.
Colonel Crystal Hills is well versed in NATO, she is well versed in operations in the European theater, and there is nobody better qualified to lead this brigade, Mohan said.
“Crystal (Hills), you know. You’ve been watching what this brigade is doing. You’re getting integrated now into the operations of the brigade, and as I said out on that field – you have my 100 percent trust and confidence, and if you look after your teammates, they’re going to look after you, and you will not fail, and I know that for sure,” Mohan said.
“I’m honored and privileged to serve our nation and to fully support the Soldiers and civilians and families of this great team as your commander,” Hills said.
“I’m happy to be back home. I’m happy to see the old faces and meet new,” Hills said. “Your hard work and dedication continues to pay off, and this ceremony is a direct reflection of your excellence. Thank you for the smooth transition and warm welcome.”
Bane’s next assignment will be deputy director of the J4 logistics and engineering directorate, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Hills arrives to the 405th AFSB following her assignment as the chief of staff and senior fellow with New America in Washington, D.C., where she advanced research in the Army’s adoption of semi-autonomous warehouses. She also served as the senior supply and logistics officer for the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Headquarters in Turkey, and before commanding AFSBn-Africa she served at the Pentagon on the Army Transition Team for the 39th Chief of Staff of the Army. In addition, she was the Quartermaster Enlisted Branch Chief at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and she supported COVID-19 relief efforts with the White House Supply Chain Task Force and as a mentor for Johns Hopkins’ COVID Design Challenge.
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’s 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.