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4th Sustainment Brigade
Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division
Division Support Command (DISCOM), 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized)

The 4th Sustainment Brigade is responsible for planning, coordinating and synchronizing combat service support within the assigned area of responsibility. The Brigade's mission is to provide command and control for all assigned or attached battalions and separate companies or detachments in order to support and sustain combat operations or disaster relief operations.

The 4th Sustainment Brigade was first constituted in April 1957 as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 4th Infantry Division Trains . The unit was eventually redesignated as the Division Support Command (DISCOM), 4th Infantry Division. Elements of the unit supported the 4th Infantry Division when it deployed to Vietnam. By the 1990s, the DISCOM and its subordinate units were undergoing redesign as new technologies and force structures were introduced to meet the needs of the Army's Force XXI Division.

In 2001 soldiers from the Division Support Command supported 2 National Training Center rotations, including the Division Capstone Exercise I, and the DCX II Division Warfighter Exercise. The performance of the "Wranglers" had been instrumental to the Army leadership embracing the Force XXI technology. With most of the DISCOM's force modernization and fielding complete, its units were trained and ready to deploy world-wide in support of the 4th Infantry Division's Division Ready Brigade missions.

In 2003, soldiers from the DISCOM deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The DISCOM was responsible for managing every aspect of logistics within Task Force Ironhorse. Typically limited to 15,000 Soldiers, Task Force Ironhorse during Operation Iraqi Freedom exceeded over 27,000 Soldiers. The DISCOM provided support to the 4th Infantry Division Task Force as it expanded to nine brigades and covered an area of operations approximately 8 times the doctrinal size of an Army of Excellence (AOE) division. The area of responsibility was roughly equivalent to that of the state of West Virginia.

As part of the modular transformation of the US Army as a whole, support assets previously held in the Division Support Command, but habitually attached to a division's maneuver brigades during operations were made organic to reorganized and redesignated brigade combat teams. The divisional aviation support battalion also became organic to the reorganized and redesignated modular combat aviation brigade.

Theater distribution was a critical and essential element of multifunctional support that included air, land, and sea operations. As the Army transitioned from a supply-based to a distribution-based logistics system, theater distribution focused on an end-to-end capability to deliver materiel readiness from source of supply to point of use. The cornerstone of successful theater distribution was the merging of materiel management functions with movement management functions under a theater distribution brigade. This multifunctional brigade would have the mission, responsibility, and authority to conduct theater distribution. It would be assigned functional and multifunctional battalions that would perform transportation, supply, and services missions. Distribution-based logistics would maximize throughput from the theater hub to the user level, bypassing intermediate echelons whenever possible.

The sustainment brigade (UEx) was a multifunctional combat service support (CSS) organization that combined functions that formerly resided in the division support command (DISCOM) and corps support command (COSCOM). Its primary mission was to plan, coordinate, synchronize, monitor, and control CSS in the UEx area of operations. The sustainment brigade (UEx) commander would serve as the senior logistics commander in the UEx.

The brigade was a modular, tailorable organization comprised of both functional and multifunctional subordinate CSS units. It would be configured for, distribute to, and retrograde from maneuver brigade combat teams and other support brigades assigned or attached to the UEx. The sustainment brigade (UEx) would be capable (with augmentation) of managing logistics operations in support of joint or multinational operations and forces. With augmentation, it also could provide joint logistics command and control for a joint force commander.

As part of the modular transformation, the Division Support Command, 4th Infantry Division became the US Army's first modular sustainment brigade in December 2004. It remained an organic element of the division, though the only unit organic to it was its Special Troops Battalion. The Brigade's mission was to, on order, deploy and provide responsive combat and health service support to the 4th Infantry Division.

The 4th Infantry Division's Sustainment Brigade held a casing ceremony for the Brigade and support battalion colors during a retreat at Cameron Field on 8 September 2005. The event signified the unit's deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom IV. The 470 Soldiers of the Sustainment Brigade were the first personnel from the 4th Infantry Division to deploy to Iraq. They left in late September 2005. The Brigade made 2 stops along the way to Camp Taji, one at Camp Beuhring, Kuwait, and the other at Camp Anaconda, Iraq. Soldiers trained for 2 weeks at Camp Beuhring. The training went from basic firing skills like confirming their zero to more quick individual training at the close-quarters marksmanship course and reacting to a suspicious vehicle at an entry control point. The soldiers' training reached its peak with live-fire convoy exercises, where Soldiers moved vehicles into defensive and offensive positions, moved disabled vehicles and requested medical evacuations for injured personnel. Arriving in Iraq in December 2005, the 4th Infantry Division's Sustainment Brigade was deployed to Camp Liberty, located Northeast of Baghdad International Airport, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

On 15 October 2005, the 4th Infantry Division's Sustainment Brigade replaced the 46th Corps Support Group from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, to provide logistical support throughout the Baghdad area. The Brigade commander and primary staff symbolized the completion of their transfer of authority by presenting the commander and primary staff of the 46th Corps Support Group challange coins for their outstanding service. The nearly 350 4th Infantry Division troops were joined by 3 additional battalions of active-duty, National Guard and Reserve Soldiers once in theater, increasing the Sustainment Brigade's total strength to approximately 4,000 Soldiers.

The Brigade was task organized under the 3rd Corps Support Command and was tasked with providing direct support to Multi-National Division - Baghdad (MND-B). With its gained battalions, the Brigade consisted of its Special Troops Battalion, the 189th Corps Support Battalion from Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Task Force 530th from Fort Bragg, North Carolina; the 18th Corps Support Battalion from Mannheim, Germany; the 169th Corps Support Battalion from Kansas City, Missouri; and the 393rd Corps Support Battalion from Puerto Rico. During its year-long deployment, the Brigade supported MND-B with all forms of maintenance, transportation, and all classes of supply and support, ranging from petroleum, field services, mortuary affairs, medical, and host nation support. The Brigade's operational area covered more than 7,150 square miles and supported over 71,000 US and Coalition forces.

By the end of its deployment, the Brigade had delivered over 44,000 pieces of cargo, retrograded more than 10,600 pieces of equipment, installed over 13,600 HMMWV enhancements, delivered over 100 million gallons of fuel, completed more than 5,100 Combat Logistics Patrols (CLPs), organized convoys that traveled over 3.5 million miles, and trained the Iraqi Army's 6th Truck Company.

Upon redeployment to Fort Hood, Texas in September 2006, the Brigade once again reorganized and established operations as part of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary). At that time the Brigade consisted of its Special Troops Battalion, the 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, and the 180th Transportation Battalion. By 2010, the 49th Transportation Battalion (Movement Control) had been realigned under the 4th Sustainment Brigade from the 15th Sustainment Brigade, also part of the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:29:09 ZULU