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Air Force officials activate newest expeditionary unit

by Staff Sgt. Lindsey Maurice
386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

1/4/2010 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- The Air Force's newest expeditionary unit, the 586th Expeditionary Support Squadron, was activated in a special ceremony Jan. 2 at an air base in Southwest Asia.

Col. John Williams, 586th Air Expeditionary Group commander, passed command of the newly formed support unit to Maj. Gregory Marty, previously the Air Force ROTC Office of the Registrar Force Management chief at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

"There is no one more suited to lead this unit of outstanding folks than Maj. Gregory Marty," said Colonel Williams. "In the few days I have spent with Major Marty, it's clear to me that he has an absolute and complete grasp of (leadership). There is no doubt in my mind that he will successfully practice what he taught all those young cadets. So it's with great confidence that I hand the guidon of our newest squadron in the 586th Air Expeditionary Group to Major Marty. I know it will be not just in good hands, but in great hands."

After accepting the guidon from Colonel Williams, Major Marty addressed his new unit.

"The opportunity to command is a goal for every officer," he said. "In fact, I have known quite a few officers who have told me that being a commander was the best job they ever had. To be selected to command a new squadron, a newly activated unit, is even more of an honor and certainly a unique challenge. It's a challenge that (586th ESPTS superintendent) Master Sgt. Charles Branson and I look forward to and a responsibility we accept with great excitement and great determination.

"We start out small in size and in reputation, and over the next six months we will work hard to create a strong foundation for the future success of this squadron. Our challenge is to establish an identity for the squadron and build strong relationships with the other units here and our sister-service units at other operating locations. I look forward to meeting and working with all of you."

The 586th ESPTS team, which will comprise more than 50 Airmen in all when the unit is fully up and running by midsummer, is responsible for providing combat support and combat services for joint warfighters entering and exiting the area of operations. They will conduct chapel ministry, host nation services and personnel management functions at four geographically separated locations.

"These specialists will play a critical role in our future plans in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom," said Colonel Williams. "They will assist in moving our forces where and when they are needed and they will serve a crucial role in assisting the family members of our brothers and sisters in arms should they be called to make their ultimate sacrifice.

"I have met all these young professionals who will form our newest unit as they have recently arrived in theater and there is no question in my mind that they're absolutely and definitely up to the challenge."

The 586th AEG, of which the 586th ESPTS is a part, includes more than 650 ground-combat Airmen filling U.S. Army combat support and combat service support requirements in Southwest Asia. The group's Airmen conduct combat logistics convoys, base defense, area security operations, detainee visitation, explosive detection and chapel ministry.

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