Fort Riley, Kansas



‘Reliable’ Battalion completes support mission in Afghanistan

By Capt. Kymberly Koenig | 1SB_STB | June 20, 2013

The Special Troops Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Infantry Division will return to Fort Riley in the coming days, following a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.

The "Reliable" Battalion comprises military police and quartermaster detachments, ordnance, finance and human resource companies that provided support to U.S. and Coalition Forces, contractors and civilians throughout Regional Command's east, north and capital.

Lt. Col. Charles Stamm, commander, STB, 1st Sust. Bde., said the battalion was responsible for postal, custom and aerial delivery operations, as well as ammunition support.

"Our support to U.S. forces consisted of providing needed ammunition, sending and receiving mail, and providing funds for Eagle Cash Cards, which allowed Soldiers access to needed funds," Stamm said. "Our paratroopers rigged parachute bundles of supplies to be dropped to Soldiers in remote regions, otherwise inaccessible."

The unit was deployed in unison with the brigade's headquarters. It deployed in modularity and gained new units upon deployment, and oversaw seven companies with seven different mission sets designed to enable combat operations. The battalion was comprised of a mixture of active-duty Soldiers, as well as Army Reserve, National Guard, Air Force and Navy units.

The unit faced many challenges during the deployment because of continuous changes as it turned over six companies and 20 detachments during its nine months in theater.

"The Soldiers of our battalion performed remarkably well, despite their own challenges of force management cuts," said Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Moore, senior enlisted adviser, STB, 1st Sust. Bde. "The Soldiers, faced with a significant mission, rose to the event with laudable comments from across the theater. They truly embodied our motto as 'Always Reliable.'"

"Over the years of continuous deployments, our Soldiers develop unique skills to adapt and take on these challenges," said the 28-year veteran from Pittsburgh, Pa. "Being agile leaders and adaptive Soldiers contributed to our success. They respond to challenges that no other force in the world can do."

Reliable Soldiers worked to reduce the need of resources throughout Afghanistan in preparation for the drawdown of forces.

"Whether it was turning in excess equipment, reconsolidating and reorganizing hundreds of containers full of supplies, decreasing reliance of civilian contractors or working to wean Afghanistan from the U.S. dollar to the Afghan dollar to build their economy, the Reliable Soldiers' impact touched thousands of Soldiers during our deployment," said Stamm, a 21-year veteran from Iowa Park, Texas.

The Reliable Battalion rigged more than 3,000 airdrop bundles, totaling more than 4 million pounds of supplies to forces in outlying regions. The finance detachments processed 50 percent of the financial transactions throughout theater through local national payouts, deposits and withdrawal transactions. Additionally, the human resource companies processed 10 million pounds of mail during the holiday season.

"I want all of you to know that what we did is important to the warfighter and that each member of the team was vitally important to our success," Stamm told the Soldiers during a ceremony just days before leaving theater.