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'Providers' case colors
casing colors for Kuwait
Col. Anthony Coston, 3rd Sustainment Brigade commander, gathers up battle streamers as he and brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Leonard Summers case the units colors in preparation of deployment to Kuwait. - photo by Randy C.Murray

The 3rd Infantry Division’s 3rd Sustainment Brigade marked its deployment to Kuwait Friday morning when it cased its colors in a ceremony at Fort Stewart’s Marne Garden.

This will be the Providers sixth deployment since Sept. 11, 2001.

Three units from the brigade are deploying to Camp Arifijan, Kuwait, in support of Operation Spartan Shield. They will provide mission command, reception, staging and onward movement as well as sustainment operations in support of unified land operations. In all, 270 soldiers will be leavingin the next 90 days for nine-month tours.

Col. Anthony Coston, 3rd SB commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Leonard Summers, took command of the color guard with the American flag and unit colors then asked permission from 3rd ID commander Maj. Gen. Mike Murray to case their colors. Murray in turn gave the order to case their colors, prompting the brigade command team to roll and cover their colors with multiple streamers.

“I don’t know anything other than what everybody else reads or sees in the news, but this is probably not the last colors casing ceremony (this division) will see,” Murray said.

He said the Providers received notice it was deploying again shortly after it returned from Afghanistan. “The fact of the matter is, there are not enough sustainment brigades in the Army. I’m extremely proud of the work this command team has done, that this brigade has done, that these soldiers have done…

“On behalf of the families of these deploying soldiers, I pledge to you our unending support. I pledge to you, you will not be forgotten. We’ll do whatever we can to make your burden just a little bit easier.”

Murray said only part of the brigade was deploying, then said those deploying have an easier mission than the rest of the brigade staying behind, that they will be held to an even higher standard of performance.

Coston said that two 3rd SB units are already deployed to Kuwait and Afghanistan. He said within the next 90 days, when the three units now scheduled to deploy are in country, about one third of his brigade will be deployed.

“The 3rd Sustainment Brigade is a very diverse organization, comprised of over 55 different military occupational specialties,” the colonel said. “Our deployments are very different than the brigade combat teams… Each of our subordinate units wears a different patch, but we’re all united for a single purpose – to sustain the soldiers… (For this mission) in Kuwait, we support a total force of active duty, National Guard and Reserve and other force from across the globe.”

Coston also talked about the rear detachment command teams and his high expectations for them. Quoting poet John Milton, he said those who “stand and wait” have an equal share in the victory as those who go.

“To our families, who also stand and wait, we ask that you keep the home fires burning until we return,” he said. “Tomorrow morning, our (advanced party) departs from Savannah, and I’ve never been more confident than I am right now.”


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