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Feature Stories

NEWS | May 1, 2020

1st TSC Soldiers Complete Mission: Advise, Assist, and Enable Iraqi Security Force Logistics

By Story by Capt. Richard Wharton 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)

CAMP TAJI, Iraq — The 108th Sustainment Brigade’s forward element, Task Force Lincoln, Team Blackhawks, completed the logistics advise, assist, and enable mission under the 1st Theater Sustainment Command supporting Combined Joint Task Force — Operation Inherent Resolve enhancing the Sustainment capability of the Iraqi Army.

To mark this major milestone, the 108th Sustainment Brigade (SB) conducted a casing ceremony on April 29, 2020, in Camp Taji, Iraq. Maj. Gen. John Sullivan, the 1st Theater Sustainment Command (TSC) commanding general, was in virtual attendance. All personnel wore facemasks and practiced social distancing in accordance with Covid-19 safety considerations.

Col. Gerald Newman, 108th Sustainment Brigade commander, said “I would like to thank our Iraqi Army (IA) counterparts, Brig. Gen. Sittar, Brig. Gen. Najaf, the entire M4 and M10 teams. They folded us into their formation, they included us in their significant events, and also got after it with us in the IA sustainment process.”

Alongside the Iraqi Army, together, Task Force Lincoln completed over 200 key leader engagements, multiple joint divestments of maintenance repair parts valued at over $20 million, and supported 13 IA depot level maintenance facilities. “It was a complete partnership between the IA counterparts and ourselves. It was a one team, one fight. Task Force Lincoln was a force multiplier in moving the IA to self-sustainment in the logistics enterprise.”

During Task Force Lincoln’s deployment, one of the key accomplishments was the IA taking ownership of transportation logistics within the divestment process. Alongside the IA, the Task Force collaborated to solve logistics shortfalls, and facilitated the development of long-term sustainment solutions to existing challenges. The joint efforts resulted in a shorter supply chain, increased efficiencies and equipment readiness to ensure an overmatch capability for the enduring defeat of Da’esh.

"The closing of this important mission highlights what is possible when nations diligently work together towards a greater common goal,” said Lt. Col. Adim Yousif, 108th SB deputy commander. “Working collectively with our esteemed Iraqi partners, the 108th SB spent a total of 18 months to improve, sustain and enhance the maintenance and warehousing operations within the Taji Military Complex in support of the Iraqi Army. These improvements directly affected the ability of the Iraqi Security and Defense Forces to maintain critical control of their homeland and defeat and expel Da’esh forces within Iraq. Task Force Lincoln Soldiers performed exceptionally well, utilizing vital experience while applying the appropriate influence to building the critical trust and rapport, ultimately leading to a successful mission."

Key to the unit’s success was the collaboration, cooperation, and relationship building among the Soldiers of the 108th SB and the IA counterparts.

“One of the things I am most proud of, for Task Force Lincoln, is the determination and will to execute and complete the Advise, Assist, and Enable mission, and the enduring accomplishments they completed with the IA throughout their sustainment enterprise,” said Newman. “The Iraqi Sustainment community has the leadership and competency to execute their sustainment system across their enterprise.”

The interoperability of the 108th SB, IA, and coalition led to the posturing of the IA for self-sufficiency and sustainability for the long term.

The 108th SB was organized on April 22, 1936 as the 108th Quartermaster Regiment, with Headquarters at Chicago, and assigned to the 33rd Division. The 108th SB was reorganized April 1, 1963 as the 108th Supply and Transport Battalion and remained assigned to the 33rd Infantry Division.

The unit was consolidated Feb. 1, 1968 with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 33rd Infantry Division Support Command, and relieved from assignment to the 33rd Infantry Division; concurrently the unit reorganized as the 108th Support Battalion and was assigned to the 33rd Infantry Brigade.

The 108th SB was relieved Oct. 1, 1997 from assignment to the 33rd Infantry Brigade. The 108th SB converted to a Sustainment Brigade on Sept. 1, 2006.