Special Troops Battalion, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)
Special Troops Battalion, 13th Corps Support Command
The Special Troops Battalion, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) cased its colors in an inactivation ceremony at Guidon Field, Fort Hood, Texas on 15 January 2008. This inactivation was as part of changes to the Command as part of the transformation to the US Army's modular force structure, which also saw the inactivation of the 64th Corps Support Group.
The Special Troops Battalion, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) was first constituted on 24 September 1965 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 13th Support Brigade. It was activated as a battalion element on 26 November 1968. The Battalion was known briefly in the early 1970s as the Operational Support Battalion. It was redesignated as the Special Troops Battalion, 13th Corps Support Command in the early 1980s. In November 1996, the Special Troops Battalion realigned to the operational control of the 64th Corps Support Group. The unit was realigned under 13th Corps Support Command's Headquarters on 1 October 2003.
By 2003, the Battalion had only one assigned unit, the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 13th Corps Support Command. It also had 4 attached units, the 47th Ordnance Detachment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), the 53rd Quartermaster Company (General Support-POL), the 289th Quartermaster Company (General Support), and C Company (provisional) (Food Service).
The Special Troops Battalion had a rich history and had been involved in providing humanitarian relief worldwide. The Special Troops Battalion's soldiers had deployed in support of earthquake relief in Mexico and Nicaragua; they served as the Army Forces (ARFOR) Staff supporting and assisting Haitian migrants during Operation Safe Harbor; they supported Joint Task Force 160 (JTF 160) in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; United Nations Forces as part of Operation Restore Hope in Somalia; Joint Task Force Bravo (JTF Bravo) in Honduras; and as a NATO Force named Task Force Pershing located in Croatia in support of Implementation and Sustaining Forces for Stabilization Force IV (SFOR IV).
By 2005, the Battalion had also gained I Company (Aviation Intermediate Maintenance), 158th Aviation Regiment, an aviation maintenance company that serves as a Corps Level AVIM. It served as a passback AVIM unit for the 1st Cavalry Division, and 2nd Armor Division, as well as, being the primary for the 6th Cavalry Brigade. I/158th Aviation was the aviation support company in the 13th Corps Support Command. They requisitioned many of the parts through and otherwise administered the control point for all the aviation parts that come in for III Corps aviation elements.
The Special Troops Battalion deployed during Operations Iraqi Freedom II and 06-08, and in between those deployments, deployed to New Orleans in support of relief operations following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. During the Iraqi Freedom II deployment, the unit was assigned to the Corps Distribution Command (Provisional). When that unit was inactivated in 2005, the Battalion returned to the direct control of the 13th Corps Support Command, which subsequently became the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).
During the Battalion's first deployment to Iraq in 2003, it had operated warehouse operations that processed over $40 million worth of serviceable excess from across the theater and provided "shooter" support for sustainment convoys logging over 250,000 miles across the world's most difficult, dangerous and deadly roads. In the face of over 100 enemy attacks, these convoys delivered over 2.5 million gallons of fuel and 20 million tons of supplies to Multi National Corps - Iraq units. Battalion units purified over 7 million gallons of water for use in multiple detainment facilities, coordinated airfield movement at Balad that staged and moved over 200,000 soldiers who were deploying, redeploying, or taking R&R Leave from the theater and transloaded over 34,000 pallets of critical cargo. Battalion soldiers also provided base camp logistics support to the Abu Ghraib prison complex.
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