Fort Stewart News

Col. Jeffrey Britton, incoming commander of the 3rd ID Sustainment Brigade, hands over the brigade colors to Command Sgt. Maj. Shontina Edwards, senior enlisted advisor to the brigade, during a change of command ceremony on Cottrell Field on Fort Stewart, June 13. Following the passing of the brigade colors from one colonel to the next, the new commander hands them off to the command sergeant major, who is charged with protecting them.

Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Ben K. Navratil

3rd IDSB changes command
Sgt. Caitlyn Smoyer, 3rd IDSB Public Affairs
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Soldiers from the Special Troops Battalion and the 87th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade stood in formation at Cottrell Field, Fort Stewart to honor the service of the outgoing brigade commander and welcome the incoming during a change of command ceremony June 13.

Col. Jered P. Helwig relinquished his position to Col. Jeffrey J. Britton after commanding the brigade for the past 23 months.

“Command itself is a great honor and privilege,” Helwig said. “I’m very humbled by the opportunity to do it.”

While under Helwig’s command, the brigade shifted its focus from an operation-specific mission set to one that can function in any type of environment, whether austere or fortified.

“Our charter was: be able to go anywhere in the world and fight using your own kit,” he said. “I think we’re probably the best trained sustainment brigade in the Army right now.”

During the past two years, Soldiers from 3rd IDSB have conducted several field training exercises to build on expeditionary operations and have also supported missions in the southeast region. Some of those included providing potable water after a flood hit Fort Jackson, South Carolina in October of 2015; assisting in hurricane relief as part of the Northern Command mission; and a logistics mission to support the inactivation of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Others in the brigade supported deployments to Kuwait, Honduras and the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.

The Multinational Force and Observers mission of Sinai included about 25 Soldiers from the 87th CSSB’s headquarters. They ran logistics and had other responsibilities to include aviation, medical and transportation.

“I had no doubt that they would do well,” Helwig said.

The harder challenge, he said, was figuring out how to take care of the remaining Soldiers in the largest battalion in the division with all of its leadership gone. Nonetheless, the missions of both forward and rear forces were accomplished successfully.

Aside from expeditionary training, Helwig put emphasis on what a program he started called Leader Stakes.

“Leader Stakes was designed to showcase different kinds of training to company commanders and battalion commanders,” he said.

The intent was to recognize lieutenants as planners for major training events in order to minimize the workload for unit commanders.

“It’s eminently doable to get hard, high-speed training,” Helwig said.

So far, three of these events have taken place. Each one consisted of a long road march to get from one point to another in conjunction with the planned training. The first included boating and low-cost, low-altitude drops; mortars were fired at the second; and at the third they used anti-tank weapons, C-4 and hand grenades.

Helwig symbolically handed off his responsibilities with the brigade colors during the ceremony, with a feeling that he was successful in what he had hoped to accomplish for the brigade, he said.

He will now be moving on to the Army Materiel Command in Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, to become the executive officer for the deputy commanding general.

“For 100 years this division has been supporting America,” he said. “It’s just an honor to have been a part of it.”