10th Sustainment Brigade
Division Support Command (DISCOM), 10th Mountain Division (Light)
The mission of the 10th Sustainment Brigade is to rapidly deploy to conduct full spectrum combat service support and combat support within a Joint Area of Operations to enable supported commanders to fight and win.
The soldiers of the 10th Sustainment Brigade, also known as the "Muleskinners," traced their heritage directly back to the Alpine Infantrymen and their pack mules that formed the Mountain Medical, Quartermaster, and Ordnance Maintenance Battalions which supported the 10th Infantry Division during World War II. The Division Trains, as they were called, were organized and assigned to the 10th Infantry Division on 14 June 1957 and activated in Germany on 1 July 1957. Moving forward, they exchanged their stubborn mules for wheeled ambulances, trucks and forklifts, and upon unit replacement in Germany, were inactivated at Fort Benning, Georgia on 14 June 1958.
When the Division was officially reactivated as the 10th Mountain Division on 13 February 1985 at Fort Drum, New York, the Division Trains found a new home. Redesignated as the 10th Division Support Command, the headquarters element organized with the 10th Supply and Transportation Battalion, the 10th Medical Battalion, and the 710th Maintenance Battalion (which became the 10th Forward Support Battalion, the 210th Forward Support Battalion, and the 710th Main Support Battalion respectively), all committed to supporting the Mountain soldiers in the new Light Infantry Division. On 16 August 1987, the 548th Supply and Services Battalion was moved from Fort McClellan, Georgia, and was assigned to the Fort Drum Garrison. On 16 November 1993, the Battalion was reorganized as the 548th Corps Support Battalion and became part of the 10th DISCOM.
In September 1990, the 548th CSB deployed to Southwest Asia for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, providing critical combat service support to units operating in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. In 1992, elements of the 10th DISCOM were called upon twice for critical missions. In August, Muleskinners deployed to Florida in support of Hurricane Andrew Relief Operations, armed with a high level of expertise in providing desperately needed supply, maintenance, and medical support that rendered their services invaluable to the communities and lives they helped to rebuild. In December, the 10th DISCOM deployed again, this time to Somalia in support of Operation Restore Hope. The ranks and responsibilities of the Muleskinners grew dramatically as they sustained, maintained, and cared for several rotations of Division soldiers while supporting humanitarian assistance to the local population.
In September 1994, the 10th DISCOM was called upon again and deployed with the Division to Haiti in their traditional role as providers and sustainers, while also supporting humanitarian operations as part of Operation Uphold Democracy. In August 1999, elements of the 10th DISCOM deployed to the Balkans in support of peacekeeping operations as part of Task Force Eagle in Bosnia. In November 2001, elements from the DISCOM deployed to Kosovo in support of Task Force Falcon.
After October 2001, 10th DISCOM units repeatedly deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. They set new standards for combat service support and exceeded every one, to include providing support to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), the 3rd Infantry Division, and the newly constituted Afghan National Army. During this period, the 10th DISCOM Headquarters itself deployed to Afghanistan for OEF IV to serve as the Joint Logistics Command-180.
Beginning in 2004 elements of the 10th Mountain Division began transforming to the US Army's new modular force structure. The 10th Division's Support Command began this transition upon returning from Afghanistan at the end of 2005. As part of the new modular force structure, Forward Support Battalions habitually attached to the Division's brigades became Brigade Support Battalions integral to these brigades. DICOM's 710th Main Support Battalion also became the Brigade Support Battalion of the 10th Mountain's new 4th Brigade, another part of the modular transformation. The 548th Corps Support Battalion became the 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, and the 10th Sustainment Brigade Special Troops Battalion was also stood up. In addition, in 2006 the 7th Engineer Battalion and 91st Military Police Battalion were activated and assigned to the 10th Sustainment Brigade.
Throughout a wide range of operations over the course of many years and in every climate, the Muleskinners provided support to combat units by pack mule or truck, ice axe or forklift. During their short history, the soldiers of the 10th DISCOM have excelled at providing, sustaining, and treating the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division with world class logistics support in supply, maintenance, medical, and transportation operations while being able to step back from the "Trains" to fight and win along side the Division.
As of March 2006, various elements of the 10th Sustainment Brigade were participating in the on-going Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. This deployment marked their third to Afghanistan.
In 2007 the 10th Sustainment Brigade shifted with elements of the 10th Mountain Division to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|