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3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)
3rd Corps Support Command

3d Corps Support Command provides logistics support to V Corps forces as a part of an Army, joint or combined force. It rapidly deploys to establish the Corps' Service Support system and sustain the Corps forces in conventional missions. It also conducts materiel management and movement control for the Corps.

The 3d Corps Support Command has a 50-year tradition of providing combat service support both in war and in peace, across the full spectrum of conflict. In the 50 years since the 3d Corps Support Command was first organized it has evolved into the U.S. Army's only forward-deployed corps support command. Today when a soldier in central Germany drives a vehicle, flies a helicopter, fires a missile, or turns on a radio, chances are that 3d Corps Support Command men and women have already ensured that the equipment is in working order.

The 3d Logistical Command arrived in Korea just 11 days after MacArthur's invasion of Inchon on September 15, 1950, and was assigned to X Corps. The command, just activated on September 19 under the Japan Logistical Command which was supporting the Eighth Army in Korea as the Far East Command requisitioning agency, assumed the task to unload, receive, store, and forward supplies for the X Corps. It established an initial supply level of 15 days and provided anti-aircraft and beach defense of the Inchon area.

The concept of using a logistical command was a new one evolving from experiences during WWII. Korea marked the first use in combat of a logistical command organized under an approved table of organization. The attached corps combat service support structure was capable of providing high quality, timely support to units and included ordnance, quartermaster, transportation and medical units. Prior to its inactivation on March 20, 1953, the 3d Logistical Command participated in eight Korean campaigns including the first United Nations Counter Offensive and three Korean winter campaigns. The command received two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations for its meritorious service during the conflict.

After the experience in Korea, the consensus of those concerned seemed to be that the logistical command concept was sound. The great advantage of such an organization was that it represented an approved voucher against which a commander could set up a logistics support organization. The command was reactivated on June 15, 1958, in France and supported the U.S. Army Europe Communications Zone. On June 2, 1969, the command was again inactivated, with the majority of the soldiers and units joining existing support units already in Germany.

Before the corps support command - or COSCOM - concept was adopted in the United States Army in Europe, V and VII corps received combat service support from support brigades. When Seventh Army was reduced to token representation, V and VII corps became separate commands subordinate to USAREUR. To operate independently, each required a corps support command. The second and third support brigades were assigned to V and VII corps, respectively, and became COSCOMs.

On June 25, 1969, V COSCOM was released from Seventh Army Support Command and was assigned to V Corps. V COSCOM was redesignated on September 23, 1974, as the 3rd Support Command (Corps), with its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. The designation "(Corps)" was dropped in late 1979. During the Cold War, the 3d Support Command stood in defense of Western Europe along with other forces. During the annual REFORGER (Return of Forces to Germany) exercises the command sustained V Corps during intensive tactical operations and deployment and redeployment operations. A typical REFORGER found the command supporting well over 70,000 troops and 20,000 vehicles during some of the most arduous winter conditions in Europe.

On November 3, 1976, the distinctive badge for the 3d COSCOM was authorized. The Korean taeguk within the octagon shape represents the unit's eight campaigns in the Korean War. The red, white, and blue interlaced chevronels symbolize the strong support offered by the command; three chevronels further distinguish the designation of the 3d Corps Support Command. Buff (gold) and scarlet are colors used for support units. 3d COSCOM adapted its official motto "Sustaining the Line!" in the fall of 1977. The command sponsored a contest for soldiers to provide a motto for the unit crest. In a meeting in early October, a dozen possible mottoes from soldiers across the command were selected. Warrant Officer Richard Jones of the 881st Maintenance Battalion, received a $25 savings bond for his contribution of "Sustaining the Line!"

In 1985 the 3d Support Command headquarters moved from Frankfurt to Wiesbaden, West Germany, after being next to V Corps HQs in Frankfurt for 16 years. In 1986 the command was selected to sponsor USAREUR's involvement in the 70th annual Nijmegen Road March in Holland. The command handled its duties in such an outstanding manner that the CG, USAREUR and 7th Army, established the command as the permanent sponsor of the international road march. The command was redesignated as the 3d Corps Support Command in October 1988.

3d COSCOM has been a key participant in several critical support missions throughout the world. Besides playing a major role in the deployment and redeployment of USAREUR soldiers in support of operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, over 1,600 soldiers deployed from the 3d COSCOM to southwest Asia, including soldiers from the 181 Transportation Battalion and the 16th Corps Support Group. Elements of the 3d COSCOM deployed to Zagreb, Croatia, in support of Operation Provide Promise from November 1992 to November 1993. Aviation support soldiers were deployed to Somalia from December 1992 through May 1993 in support of Operation Restore Hope. From July through December 1993, 3d COSCOM soldiers deployed to southwest Asia in support of Operation Provide Cover. Soldiers from every unit in the COSCOM deployed to the Balkans in 1999 in support of Task Force Hawk and Falcon, participating in the NATO-led air campaign in Kosovo to bring stability and peace to the region.

Operation Iraqi Freedom

Elements of V Corps deploy to Kuwait in early 2003. These included the 94th Engineer Battalion, the 22nd Signial Brigade, the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, and the 3rd Corps Support Command were to depart for Kuwait in the following weeks.

3rd COSCOM fed, equipped and clothed more than 150,000 Soldiers. It provided those Soldiers with water; fueled and helped fix their vehicles; provided repair parts and other supplies; and transported, issued and safeguarded ammunition for their weapons. 3rd COSCOM moved all classes of supply throughout the theater of operations, from Arifjan in Kuwait to Mosul in Iraq – over a road network of more than 3,000 miles.

3rd COSCOM grew from its garrison strength of approximately 4,000 Soldiers to a logistics force of more than 17,000 Soldiers. The command was organized into six corps support groups in an unprecedented mix of active duty units from Europe and the United States, and Army Reserve and National Guard units from all over the U.S. These Army Reserve and National Guard units made up over 40 percent of the logistics force.

Advance elements of the 3rd COSCOM began arriving in Kuwait Jan.10, 2003, and began working with Coalition Forces Land Component Command, and integrating with V Corps logistics staffers in Kuwait to form the Integrated V Corps Rear Command Post. 3rd COSCOM headquarters deployed on February 12, 2003. 3rd COSCOM tracked and managed the flow of all classes of supply (except medical), the movement of troops and equipment on all forms of transportation, and unit maintenance. 3rd COSCOM also assisted the other units flowing into Kuwait by ensuring they were issued their basic load of ammunition and equipment, supporting the download of cargo vessels, and managing all aspects of support at the various base camps in Kuwait.

During major combat operations, 3rd COSCOM ensured that the war fighters had everything they needed to win the fight, where and when they needed it and, at the same time, supported follow-on forces flowing into Kuwait and Iraq.

In the course of those six weeks, 3rd COSCOM Soldiers drove more than 14 million miles, supplied more than 55,000 tons of ammunition, 74 million gallons of bulk fuel, issued 43 million meals, provided 56 million gallons of potable water, filled more than 2.2 million requisitions for repair parts, and repaired helicopters and ground vehicles when and where required. For the first time in history, 3rd COSCOM’s In-Transit Visibility assets provided the corps with centralized visibility of combat service support operations on the battlefield.

Upon the conclusion of major combat operations, the supported units’ logistics requirements began to stabilize. 3rd COSCOM continued providing the same support, began improving the quality of life for the soldiers, and took on new missions.

Some of these missions were standard logistics support, including a daily trailer transfer operation between Kuwait and LSA Anaconda that provided 20-hour delivery from one end to the other. Other missions included managing the Corps Ammunition Supply Point, managing sea- and airport operations, and transporting and storing captured enemy ammunition and explosives.

3rd COSCOM also took on a number of non-standard missions, such as providing convoy security for contractors bringing supplies and equipment to CJTF 7. 3rd COSCOM transformed cargo trucks into gun trucks for this mission, and to protect 3rd COSCOM convoys, by adding grenade launchers or .50 Cal machine guns and improvised armor.

Other non-standard missions included recovering Iraqi MIG fighter aircraft from the area surrounding LSA Anaconda, participating in “adopt-a-school” programs for Iraqi schools and orphanages, training members of the new Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, constructing and operating airfields, and operating the Iraqi railroad system.

While supporting the coalition forces that continued to serve in Iraq, 3rd COSCOM assisted the 3rd Infantry Division and other units in their redeployment from Iraq. Over all, during the year-long deployment to Kuwait and Iraq, 3rd COSCOM Soldiers drove more than 25 million miles, delivered more than 187 million gallons of bulk fuel, issued more than 51 million operational rations and more than 4.5 million cases of bottled water, produced more than 593 million gallons of potable water and filled more than $6.8 billion in requisitions.

On Feb. 1, 2004, 3rd COSCOM turned over responsibility for CJTF 7 logistics to the 13th COSCOM.


Red, white and blue interlaced chevronels represent strong support. The three chevronels represent the unit designation as the Third Corps Support Command.

3rd COSCOM motto The "Taeguk" is an old Korean Symbol for good luck. This represents the 3rd COSCOM's Service in the Korean War.

The octagon shape represents the eight campaigns in the Korean war.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:27:27 ZULU