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NEWS | July 25, 2022

405th AFSB holds special town hall to introduce new command group, set expectations

By Cameron Porter 405th Army Field Support Brigade

The 405th Army Field Support Brigade has a new command group – commander, command sergeant major, deputy to the commander and executive officer. To introduce the new command group properly to the rest of the brigade, the 405th AFSB held a special virtual town hall, July 22.

Dialing in from several locations in Poland, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany via a video teleconference system, nearly 300 employees from the 405th AFSB – Soldiers, Army civilians, local national employees and contractors – took part in the town hall.

Army Lt. Col. Michael Liles, the 405th AFSB’s new executive officer, took time to introduce himself and his family. Liles is a father of two and married to a naval aviator stationed at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. The former commander of Army Field Support Battalion-Kuwait, who has nearly 30 years of service, said he’s happy to be back in Germany.

“Last month I changed command at AFSBn-Kuwait so I’m happy to still be a part of the (U.S. Army Sustainment Command) team. In my opinion, there is no better AFSB than the 405th, and I have experience with a couple,” Liles said.

Army Master Sgt. Randolph Leyba introduced himself as the interim sergeant major of the 405th AFSB. With 22 years of service, Leyba is the senior enlisted advisor at Army Field Support Battalion-Germany. He’s helping out the brigade until the 405th AFSB receives its permanent command sergeant major in August. Leyba has been married for 13 years, and they have two children.   

“My children and my wife are really resilient. They’re just enjoying the Army life, and I love them very much,” said Leyba, who expects to be promoted to sergeant major sometime in the next 10 months.

The new 405th AFSB deputy to the commander, Joe Scheff, said he arrived to Germany about a year ago, first serving as the DCO for Army Field Support Battalion-Mannheim. He is married, and they have one daughter.

“It’s been a very rewarding experience … and now I’m proud to be up at the brigade as the DCO,” Scheff said.

“Over the last three days I’ve had opportunities to meet with a lot of our mission partners,” said Scheff, who started his Army career at Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pennsylvania. “There’s been a common thread when I met with them. They recognize our professionalism, and never did these conversations turn into problems that you’d expect. It was always thank you. The 405th is on top of it.”

Not only did Col. Crystal Hills introduce herself as the new commander of the 405th AFSB and speak to her background, experience and education, she also went into depth about her leadership philosophy and her expectations from the brigade team. And she was quick to clarify that people always come first.

“People first – my number one priority is people. The treatment of our personnel is of the utmost importance to me. We must always treat each other with dignity and respect, and we must take time to understand who is in our squad – not just understanding people on a superficial level but getting a deeper understanding of why they think and operate the way they do. That will improve our interaction and communication and help us understand each other better on a deeper level.”

People was just one of five Ps the commander spoke about. She also discussed in great detail performance, professionalism, pro-activeness and positivity. Furthermore, she discussed synchronization and integration within a sustainment enterprise, how to best present information to a team, the operations process, keys to success in a command environment, and her expectations as the commander.  

Fundamentals matter, Hills said, and outside of being concise and succinct “dignity and respect is absolutely nonnegotiable. We have to treat each other the way we would want to be treated – the way you’d want your mom and your children to be treated.”

“Thank you for being professionals. Thank you for taking care of our people, and thank you for supporting the warrior,” said Hills.

A summer safety briefing presented by Safety Officer Dalmar Hooper, an information technology security briefing given by Information System Security Manager Michael Sigl, and a Master Resilience Training meditation and relaxation session led by Operations Noncommissioned Officer in Charge Sgt. 1st Class Samara Burnett were also included in the 405th AFSB’s virtual town hall.

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 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.