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Posted: July 12, 2018 8:43 a.m.
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Providers return home to Stewart

Staff Sgt. Sierra A. Melendez/

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Edward Rahming, supply systems technician, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, hugs his Family Members at Cottrell Field on Fort Stewart, July 3. Families of the Soldiers are seeing them for the first time in nine months following a deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Resolute Support.

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On July 3, the 3rd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade returned home to Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield. 

Over the course of these past months, the Providers were the leader in sustainment operations for the Combined Joint Operations Area - Afghanistan. The brigade provided logistical support for all classes of supply supporting service members, coalition forces, contractors and civilians in country.

Teams of Providers were deployed all across the country to more effectively establish base life support operations. Working with other units both active, reserve and national guard, the brigade was able to provide comprehensive operations ever since taking over the Resolute Support Sustainment Brigade in October 2017. 

They provided more than $100 million worth of rations, delivered over 126 million gallons of fuel, managed over 630 million rounds of ammunition and oversaw the movement of more than 80 million pounds of cargo through airlift, sling load operations and ground transportation.

The brigade supported all classes of supply: food, rations and water, clothing, petroleum oils and lubricants, fortification and barrier materials, ammunition, personal items, major end items, repair parts and agricultural and economic support items. 

“The RSSB’s mission is to provide Class I - IX to the whole CJOA-A,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Toby Grisham, senior enlisted advisor, 3rd Inf. Div. RSSB. “We have a whole theater where we’re pushing everything from beans to bullets, materiel, [major end items]. Everything that moves and shoots we support it.”

The brigade supported approximately 54,000 personnel across Afghanistan. Whether it was through the classes of supply, ensuring the safe delivery of mail, financial assistance or security operations, the Soldiers worked diligently to get the mission accomplished.

The Providers were also able to support the 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade in Afghanistan. They saw the influx of this new team and were able to set the standard for how future sustainment brigades supported any SFAB. 

“This is a very big mission, especially with the new SFAB mission,” Grisham said. “We had to create some smaller teams that we called Sustainment Support Teams which allowed us to better support the SFABs.” 

With the mission constantly adapting for the operational environment, the Providers had to roll with the changes. 

“I think the biggest difference in our unit now versus nine months ago is confidence. Confidence in that we are able to do the job that we need to do,” said Col. Jeffrey J. Britton, 3rd ID RSSB commander. “Whether or not it is here in the CJOA-A, we have the capabilities, the understanding and the knowledge now of how to get those resources and be able to support whatever theater we are in and whatever mission we are doing.”

“The RSSB measured up to every one of my expectations,” Grisham said. “The Soldiers here are motivated, they’re professional, they’re highly skilled in getting the job done. This is one of the best sustainment brigades I’ve ever been affiliated with.” 

The Providers transferred authority of the RSSB over to the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Sustainment Brigade Lifeliners. As with any mission, the Providers did their best to set the Lifeliners up for success. 

“The advice I would give to 101st Sustainment Brigade, or any in-bound unit doing sustainment here: flexibility and anticipation,” Britton said. “Flexibility in that the mission changes or the requirements change on a day-to-day basis. Flexibility in your ability to support, and trying to anticipate what the warfighters and those at the tip of the spear need and want.” 

“The mission you do here matters, and every time you do something you are supporting Soldiers in a warfighter on the battlefield and that has got to make you feel great,” said Grisham.

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