1st Theater Sustainment Command marks departure from Fort Bragg, move to Fort Knox
By DREW BROOKS | The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. | Published: August 9, 2017
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (Tribune News Service) — The 1st Theater Sustainment Command ended its more than four decades of history on Fort Bragg this week, as the unit moves to a new U.S headquarters at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
The two-star command cased its colors during a ceremony Tuesday at Fort Bragg. It was one of the final steps in the unit’s move to Fort Knox, which has been in the works for several years.
The ceremony came one day after soldiers belonging to the command’s 14th Human Resources Sustainment Center returned to Fort Bragg from a nine-month deployment to Qatar.
Col. Brett Ayvazian, who welcomed the troops home on Monday, said the command has supported troops across the globe for more than 50 years.
"Soldiers rely on our soldiers to have what they need," he said. "This command allows combatant commanders to focus on the battlefield. They have never waited on logistics and transportation. These folks are so good, they've got it down."
On Tuesday, Maj. Gen. Flem B. “Donnie” Walker Jr., the commanding general of the 1st TSC, and Command Sgt. Maj. Jason P. Willett, the unit’s senior enlisted leader, oversaw the casing ceremony.
Willett, who started his job in March, and Walker, who assumed command in May, already live in Kentucky, although they spend much of their time working from the command’s forward headquarters in Kuwait. The unit is one of two in the Army that has been constantly deployed in support of combat operations since 2006 – the other being the 1st TSC’s higher command, U.S. Army Central.
At any given time, about one-third of the 1st TSC is deployed in support of logistics and sustainment operations over a 20-country region that spans from Egypt to Kazakhstan and includes ongoing military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. The 1st TSC has about 750 soldiers assigned to it, but leads a force of approximately 10,000 service members and civilians overseas.
Many of the command’s remaining soldiers have already made the move to Kentucky along with their commanders.
As of May, about one-fourth of the unit was at Fort Knox, but that percentage has grown in recent months.
Army leaders announced that the 1st TSC would leave Fort Bragg in 2015. The unit traces its history to the 1st Logistics Command, which was formed in 1950. Its ties to Fort Bragg date to 1972, when it was redesignated as the 1st Corps Support Command and assigned to the 18th Airborne Corps.
The unit served with other Fort Bragg units in Grenada, Panama, Haiti and during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. And a memorial for those in the unit killed in those operations will remain on Fort Bragg.
The unit took the name 1st TSC in 2006, when its mission shifted to supporting the U.S. Army Central area of operations, managing the movement of food, fuel, soldiers and supplies to sprawling forward operating bases and small, austere outposts where the nation’s warfighters work.
The decision to move the 1st TSC was part of a group of changes that inactivated several small units at Fort Bragg and moved others to the installation.
The largest part of that reorganization was the move of the 1st TSC to Fort Knox and the move of the 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command to Fort Bragg. The 3rd ESC, which is part of Fort Bragg’s 18th Airborne Corps, had been based at Fort Knox. It completed its move to North Carolina in 2015.
Staff writer Amanda Dolasinski contributed to this report.
Military editor Drew Brooks can be reached at email@example.com.