CAMP TAJI, Iraq — Soldiers of the Virginia National Guard’s Virginia Beach-based 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion assumed responsibility of their assigned battlefield sustainment operations on Jan. 1, 2019, and commemorated by a transfer of authority ceremony Jan. 7.
The 529th, also known as Task Force Cavalier, manages the day-to-day sustainment operations throughout Iraq, Syria and Jordan, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. It assumed responsibility from the U.S. Army Reserve’s Alabama-based 787th Support Battalion.
“This ceremony is not about change, but about continuity. Never has this been more important than today,” said Col. Todd Erskine, 300th Sustainment Brigade commander. “This combat sustainment support battalion provides support for U.S. and coalition forces throughout Operations Inherent Resolve.”
The area of responsibility includes three countries, covering over 270,000 square miles, and 66 million people.
As a sustainment provider, the 529th CSSB provides material and services to ensure the warfighter can accomplish their mission. In addition, they provide sustainment and general support commodity hub operations, distribution of all classes of supply, area support maintenance, central receiving and shipping point operations, and contractor oversight.
“Your mission is extremely important and will require you to remain focused and more importantly agile. Your team is part of a pivotal and larger strategic operation” said Erskine.
“Your legacy lives on through the professional relations and friendships we have built on our way here,” Lt. Col. Dennis Rohler, commander of the 529th, told the outgoing commander of the 787th. “Your team ensured TF Cavalier was 100% set up for success, and for that we are truly thankful and as we go forward you will be right there beside us.”
The group of approximately 70 Soldiers assigned to the 529th officially began the federal active duty with a departure ceremony held Nov. 25, 2018, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Hundreds of friends, family members and fellow Soldiers gathered in Virginia Beach along the state government and VNG senior leaders to say farewell to a group
The 529th is expected to remain on mission until September 2019.
“We have received your orders, TF Cavalier is fully nested within your guidance and prepared,” Rohler told Erskine. “We have rehearsed for this mission for the past 6 months and with the assistance of TF Grizzly, we are completely prepared for this transfer of authority.”
Rohler said the Soldiers continue to impress him on daily basis.
“Training together for this mobilization created a very team-centric philosophy, and it was difficult breaking up the headquarters and positioning personnel in four different countries,” Rohler said. “The team we developed though through the train up, and the high morale of our personnel enabled us to not only take over the mission but to take it to new levels every day.”
Soldiers of the 529th are shaping policy at the theater level, he said.
“Our Soldiers are effecting process changes making distribution more efficient, are on the cutting edge of defining sustainment operations in U.S. Central Command for the future and improving themselves every single day,” Rohler said.
“I truly could not be more impressed with the folks I have on this team and with how our families are holding things down back at home, despite a number of rough patches,” he said. “The Family Readiness Group is there supporting our families every day, and I know that commitment will no wane of the time we are here.”