1st Sustainment Command (Theater)
1st Corps Support Command
After nearly 34 years of logistical support to the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, the 1st Corps Support Command furled its colors during the 1st COSCOM Inactivation Ceremony on April 18, 2006. marking the end of an era and the birth of a new one as the 1st Sustainment Command (Theater) was activated in its place.
The 1st TSC is the first theater sustainment command to exist in the active-duty Army. As logisticians of the 1st TSC, former 1st COSCOM Soldiers will no longer support the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg as they had done since June 1972. Instead, the 1st TSC is taksed with providing logistical support all of the U.S. Army Central Command theater of operations. As a result of the transformation, the 1st TSC was to see its troops strength reduced from several thousand Soldiers down to approximately 400.
The primary mission of the 1st TSC is to supervise, observe and contribute knowledge to other logistic units deploying to the CENTCOM Theater of operations. The 1st TSC is tasked with provide leadership to the 507th Corps Support Group as it supports the XVIII Airborne Corps until the 507th's scheduled transformation to an independent corps asset in October 2006.
1st Corps Support Command
The 1st Corps Support Command (COSCOM) was the lifeline to soldiers of the XVIII Airborne Corps and its maneuver divisions worldwide. Anywhere the Corps went to offer aid...keep the peace...or fight freedom's battles, 1st COSCOM "First Team" was there. The Commander's intent was "Nothing fails due to logistics"...and we live it...every day!" As the Army's only contingency support command, 1st COSCOM could provide essential combat service support to a single division or an entire corps of more than 90,000 soldiers.
The 1st Corps Support Command had more than 8,700 soldiers skilled in more than 105 of the Army's inventory of military occupational specialties. More than 20 percent of COSCOM's soldiers were women. Its four major subordinate units contained more than 50 companies, detachments and teams, each with a distinct organization and mission. The 46th, 507th, 24th and 101st corps support groups provided a wide range of supplies, equipment, and repair parts, as well as maintenance, transportation and essential services. Those groups were usually tasked to provide support as far forward as possible to the 82nd Airborne Division, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) and the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). The 24th and 101st corps support groups were located on station with their respective divisions at Fort Stewart, Ga., and Fort Campbell, Ky., to provide the necessary support for training and deployment. Two centers also belonged to 1st COSCOM: The 2nd Support Center (CMMC), which centrally managed all supply and maintenance functions in the corps area; and the 330th Transportation Center (MCC), which provided movement control, highway regulation and transportation taskings.
Soldiers in the 1st COSCOM continually participated in training exercises throughout the world to prepare for real-world contingencies. Procedures had to be flexible and versatile to accommodate any mission requirements. That critical versatility required a Total Army effort since more than two-thirds of the Army's logistical assets resided in the Reserve Components. At almost any given moment, COSCOM soldiers were deployed overseas to perform a full range of combat service support missions. 1st COSCOM soldiers have served in Africa, Bolivia, Bosnia, Croatia, Cuba, Egypt, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Germany, Panama, the Netherlands and Southwest Asia. The 1st Corps Support Command was a dynamic, committed and involved command, training and exercising daily to strengthen its extensive managerial, planning and logistical capabilities. It stood strong and ready to deploy anywhere in the world, at a moment's notice, to provide whatever support is required.
In the Beginning
In response to increased troop requirements growing out of the Korean conflict, the 1st Logistical Command was activated Oct. 4, 1950, at Fort McPherson, Ga. As a general reserve unit with 15 officers and 35 enlisted soldiers, 1st Log Command functioned as a planning headquarters.
During the first months of existence, the command was assigned a special planning mission for the Department of the Army and participated in the planning of Exercise Southern Pines, held in June and July 1951.
On May 12, 1952, the Quartermaster General approved a distinctive shoulder patch for the 1st Log Command. A permanent change of station came July 17, 1952, when the command was ordered from Fort McPherson, Ga., to Fort Bragg, N.C. It was initially attached to the XVIII Airborne Corps. On July 1, 1958, 1st Log Command was designated a Strategic Army Corps unit, and was charged with the administrative and logistical support of the STRAC contingency forces, maintenance of STRAC logistical readiness and post deployment utilization as the STRAC logistical headquarters.
Although 1st Log Command's mission during the 1950s was diverse, one of its most important tasks was the preparation and control of LOGEX, the annual Joint Logistical Exercise held at Fort Lee, Va., for reserve units. It also prepared command post exercises and other training devices for logistical units of the U.S. Army Reserve and participated in the evaluation of new logistics doctrine and organization.
As a result of the Berlin Crisis of 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced a partial mobilization and augmentation of U.S. forces in Europe. As part of this development, 1st Log Command was deployed from Fort Bragg to Poitiers, France, where it operated a Base Logistical Command in the Communications Zone, United States Army-Europe.
Thirty-five days following the alert order on Sept. 5, 1961, the soldiers of the command boarded a train at Fort Bragg for the U.S. Army Terminal at Hampton Roads, Va., where the USNS GORDON was waiting to transport them to Cherbourg, France. The GORDON landed at Cherbourg Oct. 19, 1961, and the 1st Log Command troops continued on to Poitiers by rail.
The mission centered upon the organization of a Base Logistical Command which would supervise the COMMZ depot and port operations in western and southwestern France. Seven depots were supervised by the command: Bracanne, Chinon, Saumur and Ingranders General Depots; Chize and Captieux Ammunition Depots; and Croix Chapeau Medical Depot. Port Area Command, with headquarters at La Rochelle and a complex of docks and terminals along the French west coast, was also assigned to the 1st Log Command.
As an element of the COMMZ, 1st Log Command was a part of the Army's largest logistical command. It was an outgrowth of the World War II Communications Zone, which had succeeded the Services of Supply designed to support the American Expeditionary Force of World War I. Although the methods, doctrine and equipment had changed, the Services of Supply motto of 1918 "We deliver the goods" still described the Army's logistical mission in 1962.
For many years the annual LOGEX play had been based upon hypothetical operations in Western Europe, and since 1st Log Command played such a prominent role in LOGEX, it appeared at the outset that its years of training had been brilliantly and prophetically designed for this moment, its first mobilization.
But the harried 1st Log Command staff immediately discovered two major differences between LOGEX play and actual operations in the European COMMZ. Many of the technical services were centralized along functional lines rather than normal lines of command and control. That resulted in some 1st Log Command units, such as Signal and Medical, running into problems accomplishing their missions. 1st Log Command realized that local control was more cumbersome and unnecessary during peacetime, but insisted that, if hostilities broke out, an immediate decentralization would bring chaos.
A second problem resulted from 1st Log Command's requirements to support family members and civilian personnel. Its organization was simply not designed to meet those demands. Fortunately, units within its area of operation had been supporting family members and civilians, and were able to absorb the 1st Log Command's requirements. It's ironic that during its initial mobilization the command's greatest problems were the problems of peace.
The command returned to the United States Aug. 11, 1962, after nearly a year of service in Europe. It was assigned to III Corps, Fort Hood, Texas.
While at Fort Hood, 1st Log Command participated in a host of training exercises and continued to play a major role in LOGEX. It went through a number of reorganizations, mirroring the fundamental reorientation in logistical activities: a continuing theme Army-wide.
As U.S. military involvement in Vietnam increased, an urgent requirement developed for immediate and responsive combat service support. The 1st Log Command was established in Saigon to meet the challenge April 1, 1965.
Although its original Vietnam strength was only 20 officers and 14 enlisted soldiers, the command grew dramatically in size and responsibility, becoming the fountainhead of combat service support in the embattled republic.
During the first formative months, the establishment of a firm logistical base was one of 1st Log's highest priorities. It proceeded to form logistical support areas in Saigon, Cam Ranh Bay, Qui Nhon, Nha Trang and Vung Tau. From those areas, 1st Log began providing support to the ever increasing influx of U.S. and Free World military assistance forces.
By the end of 1965, less than a year after establishment, 1st Log's strength had increased to more than 22,000 troops, and its combat service support activities were reaching - directly or indirectly - nearly every service member in Vietnam.
During 1966, 1st Log became the largest single major command in Vietnam as its military personnel strength increased to more than 50,000.
A constant increase in size was not the only hallmark of the command's presence in Vietnam. It also pioneered logistical doctrine and techniques in a successful effort to improve the quality and efficiency of its support of the Free World's fighting soldiers.
On April 19, 1968, 1st Log was authorized a distinctive unit insignia. The new crest summed up the short history of one of the modern Army's strikingly modern organizations.
1st Field Army Support Command
The 1st Log Command returned from Vietnam Dec. 7, 1970, to Fort Lee, Va., where it was redesignated the 1st Field Army Support Command and assumed the duties of the inactivated 22nd FASCOM.
During 1971, 1st FASCOM participated in an abundance of exercises, operations and maneuvers. World affairs had a considerable impact on 1st FASCOM during 1971. As a result of conflicts throughout the world, the command continually reviewed and updated contingency plans and operational procedures.
The winding down of the war in Indochina had an adverse effect on the operational capabilities of the command as the activity of the "Early Out" program increased. With a 90 percent turnover in personnel, a constant turbulence in training and operations was experienced. Due to the "Early Out" program, a 30 percent turnover occurred between October and December of 1971, resulting in 600 soldiers being released from active duty within 60 days.
12TH Support Brigade
While the 1st Log Command had been preparing for departure to Vietnam in April 1965, Fort Bragg witnessed the formation of the 12th Signal Brigade. This was particularly important in that the 12th Support Brigade was one of the forerunners of the present day 1st Corps Support Command.
That new command ushered in a new era of Army combat service support by providing a strong helping hand in foreign and domestic crises - and more locally by using its units in support of Fort Bragg.
The brigade's mission was to provide combat service support to XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg in the areas of supply, services, maintenance, transportation, medicine, ammunition and construction.
Four major commands made up the brigade: the 55th Medical Group, the 269th Ordnance Group, the 774th Transportation Battalion and the 160th Engineer Group.
A test of combat service support came early for the newly-activated command when brigade units deployed to the Dominican Republic in 1965. From 1965 to 1968 the 12th Support Brigade also helped activate, organize, train and deploy more than 140 units to assist 1st Log Command in its combat service support mission in Vietnam.
The 12th Support Brigade was inactivated June 22, 1972, when the 1st FASCOM was redesignated as the 1st Corps Support Command and moved to Fort Bragg to assume its mission of support.
The 1st COSCOM was organized into four major headquarters: 46th Support Group, 55th Medical Group, 269th Ordnance Group and 35th Engineer Group. It was assigned the mission of combat support and combat service support to nondivisional units on Fort Bragg.
The 82nd Airborne Division and the John F. Kennedy Center for Military Assistance were also supported on a mission basis.
In July of 1972, the 330th Transportation Center (MCC) was activated at Fort Bragg to manage movement of soldiers, equipment and supplies in support of the Corps. Its earliest inception was activation as the 2102nd Quartermaster Truck Company Oct. 15, 1942, at the Durand Airdrome in New Guinea.
In August of 1972, 1st COSCOM organized the Personnel Service Center, which operated as a one-stop facility for all post-level in-and out-processing. In December of 1972, the command carried out a partial reorganization. 1st COSCOM's posture after this reorganization was that of six major headquarters, three of which were provisional.
The three units retaining their identities after the reorganization were the 46th Support Group, 55th Medical Group and the 35th Engineer Group. Headquarters Special Troops (Provisional) was organized to improve the span of control of the separate companies and detachments. Headquarters, Corps Automated Management Data Operation Center (Provisional) was organized to provide a command headquarters for the 14th Data Processing Unit, 29th Maintenance Management Detachment and the 151st Stock Control Company. The 774th Transportation Battalion (Provisional) was relieved from attachment to the 46th Support Group and attached to 1st COSCOM Headquarters to provide command, control and technical supervision of all the transportation assets of the command.
Further reorganization in 1974 enabled COSCOM to better meet the changing needs of the XVIII Airborne Corps, as well as Fort Bragg garrison operations. The 18th Personnel and Administration Battalion and the Operational Support Battalion were formed in February 1974. In June, COSCOM lost its largest unit when the 35th Engineer Group became the 20th Engineer Brigade and moved across post - directly under the command of the XVIII Airborne Corps. In July, the 55th Medical Group was redesignated as the 44th Medical Brigade, but retained the same mission and the same position within the COSCOM command. Also in July, the 7th Transportation Battalion was reactivated to take over the duties of the 774th Transportation Battalion.
The 2nd Support Center (MMC) was activated at Fort Bragg Dec. 21, 1975. That unit traces its inception back to Sept. 14, 1950, when it was constituted in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Logistical Command.
With the activation of the 507th Transportation Group in September 1980, 1st COSCOM had evolved into a close proximity of the configuration it holds today.
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