529th CSSB recognized as a Distinguished Unit of the Regiment

Brig. Gen. Ronald Kirklin, the 53rd Quartermaster General and Commandant of the Quartermaster School at Fort Lee, and Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmy J. Sellers, the 12th Regimental Command Sergeant Major of the Army Quartermaster Corps, attach the Distinguished Unit of the Regiment streamer to the organizational colors of the Virginia National Guard's Virginia Beach-based 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group during the Quartermaster Regimental Honors and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony June 5, 2015, at Fort Lee, Va. Maj. Dennis Rohler and Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy D. White represented the battalion at the ceremony. The 529th recently returned from federal mobilization in Kuwait where Rohler served as the executive officer and White as the battalion command sergeant major. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

Brig. Gen. Ronald Kirklin, the 53rd Quartermaster General and Commandant of the Quartermaster School at Fort Lee, and Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmy J. Sellers, the 12th Regimental Command Sergeant Major of the Army Quartermaster Corps, attach the Distinguished Unit of the Regiment streamer to the organizational colors of the Virginia National Guard’s Virginia Beach-based 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group during the Quartermaster Regimental Honors and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony June 5, 2015, at Fort Lee, Va. Maj. Dennis Rohler and Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy D. White represented the battalion at the ceremony. The 529th recently returned from federal mobilization in Kuwait where Rohler served as the executive officer and White as the battalion command sergeant major. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

FORT LEE, Va. — The Virginia National Guard’s Virginia Beach-based 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group was one of eight units recognized as a Distinguished Unit of the Regiment during the Quartermaster Regimental Honors and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony June 5, 2015, at Fort Lee, Va. Brig. Gen. Ronald Kirklin, the 53rd Quartermaster General and Commandant of the Quartermaster School at Fort Lee, and Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmy J. Sellers, the 12th Regimental Command Sergeant Major of the Army Quartermaster Corps, attached a streamer to the unit colors to signify the achievement, and Maj. Dennis Rohler and Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy D. White represented the battalion at the ceremony. The 529th recently returned from federal mobilization in Kuwait where Rohler served as the executive officer and White was the battalion command sergeant major.

“The eight units we are inducting today are as good as it gets,” Kirklin said. “Many of us have served in or fought along side each of these units and can attest to their high performance and unwavering support and dedication to mission accomplishment. They are all mission oriented organizations with great leaders and great Soldiers.”

The Distinguished Unit of the Regiment award was introduced in 1993 to recognize outstanding units, past and present, who have made a significant contributions to the Quartermaster Corps.

“This is significant because the 529th is such a young unit compared to the others recognized today with some being more than 200 years old,” said Col. Michelle Rose, commander of the 329th RSG and former commander of the 529th during the unit’s deployment to Afghanistan in 2010. “It is amazing that in such a short time the unit has been around it has accomplished so much, and it is great to be part of the community recognized today. We have some awesome sustainers in the Virginia National Guard, and this is a great way to be recognized by the Quartermaster Corps.”

The 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion was formed in December 2006, and the battalion headquarters deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 and Kuwait in 2014.

The 529th CSSB being inducted into the Quartermaster Hall of Fame serves as a great indicator of the hard work and professionalism of our Soldiers across all of the sustainment disciplines here in the Commonwealth and twice deployed to a theater of combat,” said Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. “The Soldiers serve as an example of today’s National Guard that is ‘always ready, always there.'”

While home in Virginia, the 529th has command and control of the Emporia-based 1710th Transportation Company, the Blackstone-based 3647th Maintenance Company and the Virginia Beach-based 229th Military Police Company.

“The induction as a Distinguished Unit of the Regiment recognizes the hard work and outstanding abilities of our Soldiers, noncommissioned officers and officers conducting missions here in Virginia as well as overseas,” White said. “Being here today is the perfect way for me to close out 34 years in the National Guard.”

The last group of Soldiers from the 529th reunited with family, friends and fellow Soldiers in Virginia April 29, 2015, after serving on federal active duty in Kuwait since July 2014. During the deployment they planned and coordinated combat sustainment support for U.S. and coalition forces in Kuwait and the surrounding region to include Afghanistan and Iraq. During their nine months in Kuwait, the 529th adapted to an ever-developing mission set, quadrupled the sustainment capabilities of the battalion and provided ground, sea and air distribution of supplies and equipment, ammunition holding and distribution, maintenance, material handling and supply management by U. S. Army units as well as contracted support.

The 529th CSSB planned and executed more than 300 transportation missions, processed material release orders valued at $450 million and delivered multiple successful airdrop missions including more than 1,000 bundles of humanitarian aid in Iraq. They went from having three subordinate units to nine, and then added five watercraft units for a total of 14 subordinate units serving under them during the deployment. The 529th began their deployment at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, but expanded it to more than 10 locations in five countries, supporting five different operations simultaneously, while moving its headquarters to Camp Buehring, Kuwait.

The 529th was the only combat sustainment support battalion in the Central Command area of operations and supported Operation Spartan Shield, Operation Inherent Resolve, Operation Resolute Support and Operation Enduring Freedom. The units within the battalion were located at Camp Arifjan, Camp Buehring, Kuwait Naval Base and Al Udeid Airbase, Qatar and provided support in Iraq and Afghanistan as well.

In September 2013, the 529th received the Reckord Trophy for training excellence. The National Guard Association of the United States presents the Reckord Trophy each year to the Army National Guard battalion that achieves the highest state of readiness in the country. To receive the award, the battalion must have demonstrated superior performance in the areas of personnel strength, retention, duty MOS qualification, individual and crew served weapons qualification, the Army Physical Fitness Test, drill weekend attendance and annual training attendance. The battalion, along with its organic units, must have demonstrated a commitment to the welfare of its members and their families and to its communities during the training year for which being nominated.

While deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, the 529th provided command and control for more than 500 Soldiers from three active duty units to accomplish their mission: the 104th Transportation Company from Fort Benning, the 183rd Maintenance Company from Fort Carson, and the 226th Quartermaster Platoon from Fort Stewart.

The unit also worked directly with Italian, Spanish, Slovenian and Afghan forces. In preparing for their mobilization to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the 529th CSSB completed a staff exercise at Camp Dodge, Iowa, and pre-mobilization training at Fort Pickett. The final preparation for their deployment was their mobilization to Fort Hood. In May 2010, the 529th deployed to Afghanistan and operated from the remote forward operating base at Shindand Air Base, located in the deserts of Western Afghanistan.

While in Afghanistan, the 529th mission was to provide supply, maintenance and transportation support to U.S. and coalition war-fighters throughout the region that covered four large western provinces of Afghanistan. The battalion was also responsible for building an expeditionary life support complex and infrastructure for the entire air base while simultaneously providing seamless sustainment operations for supported units. In addition, they helped to improve quality of life and promote economic development in local Afghan communities.

The 529th CSSB is credited as the first-ever U.S. combat support battalion to locate in that particular area of Western Afghanistan and conduct logistical support operations.

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Photos on Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/sets/72157654146637841

Soldiers from Va. Beach-based 529th CSSB return to Virginia after federal deployment to Kuwait
http://vaguard.dodlive.mil/2015/04/30/7357/

Va. Beach-based 529th CSSB receives national training award
http://vaguard.dodlive.mil/2013/09/30/4503/