By Master Sgt. Jeff Lowry
Task Force Spartan
Soldiers with the 38th Infantry Division assumed authority of U.S. Army Central Command's Task Force Spartan during a ceremony today.
More than 600 National Guardsmen with the 38th deployed to the Middle East in July to helm the task force that's in charge of more than 10,000 U.S. service members in the gulf region.
"We are prepared. We are trained, and we have been given a good transition of authority so we can step off smartly and assume mission command," said Maj. Gen. Gordon L. Ellis, the 38th's commanding general. "We understand that this mission involves partnering with host nations, with partnered militaries to not only learn from them, but also to build that interoperability and the ability to perform side by side."
The Indiana-headquartered division takes the reins from the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Red Bull Infantry Division which has performed mission command of Task Force Spartan since November 2018.
"This mission challenged and stretched us. Leading multiple brigades consisting of air defense, field artillery, engineers, armor and aviation assets allowed us to put years of training and preparation into action," said Maj. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, the Red Bulls' commanding general. "We found ourselves with three main tasks: countering malign influences, deterring aggression in the region and building partner capacity. Our Red Bulls and the thousands of soldiers in our subordinate brigades embraced this challenge."
During the Red Bulls' 10 months in theater, the 34th soldiers coordinated efforts of 10 brigades and dozens of training missions with partnered nations including multilateral, military-to-military exercises that developed mutual understanding of operations in a multinational environment.
Task Force Spartan is a unique, multi-component organization, made up of active Army and National Guard units, rounded out by U.S. Army Reserve support units. The soldiers' mission is to help build partner capacity in the Middle East, to promote regional self-reliance, deter regional aggression and to increase security.
U.S. ARMY RESERVE
DEPT. OF DEFENSE
U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND
DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY
BEST WARRIOR COMPETITION