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Feature Stories

NEWS | July 21, 2021

ASG-KU welcomes new commander

By Staff Sgt. True Thao Area Support Group - Kuwait

Area Support Group-Kuwait welcomed incoming commander, Col. Charles S. Lockwood and bid farewell to outgoing commander, Col. John J. Herrman during a change of command ceremony at Camp Arifjan, July 12, 2021.

ASG-KU’s mission is to implement the Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) on behalf of U.S. Army Central with the Kuwait Ministry of Defense; operate as the Base Operations Support Integrator (BOS-I) and security coordinator for Kuwait, command and controls U.S. Army camps and security forces; and provide support for Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration (RSOI) of forces to facilitate theater operations.

“I fully understand the challenges of the command, its mission, and my responsibility to its people,” said Lockwood. “My commitment also extends to our Kuwaiti partners and allies.

“It is truly an honor to see the support and dedication for ASG-KU through the presence of each and every one of you here today,” added Lockwood.

Area Support Group-Kuwait was activated as Combat Equipment Group, Southwest Asia in November 1991 as part of the new Defense Cooperation Agreement with Kuwait after the liberation of Kuwait from Iraq. Since that time, it has gone through numerous re-designations: first to U.S. Army - Kuwait, then to U.S. Army Training and Security - Kuwait, then to ARCENT-Kuwait, and finally to Area Support Group-Kuwait.

Australian Maj. Gen. Chris Field, Deputy Commanding General, Operations for USARCENT, expressed his excitement for the incoming commander and what he brings to ASG-KU.

“Charles has a remarkable reputation and is one of the best. So, as we transfer command to this proven and capable leader, I remain confident he will continue to advance Area Support Group-Kuwait to even greater heights,” said Field.

Field also expressed gratitude to the outgoing commander for all of his accomplishments during his tenure in Kuwait.

“Col. Herrman's presence, confidence and competence truly set the tone for this entire organization and his team's achievements speaks volumes about his leadership,” said Field.

“Your efforts, without question will have a lasting impact on the future success of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Central, and Central Command as a whole,” added Field.

Before the ceremony began, ASG-KU awarded Herrman with the Legion of Merit for his exceptional service as the base commander. The military award of the United States Armed Forces is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.

Herrman credited his team for their contributions and accepted the award on their behalf.

“An award like this is not something I earned, it is something that the team earned,” said Herrman. “I just want to say thank you to everybody.”

While in command, Col. Herrman kept a keen eye on fiscal responsibility by reducing long term costs through investments and infrastructure. This facilitated over $32 million dollars in savings by reducing contracts and connecting Sure Power for solar lighting.

Col. Herrman continued and improved the positive relationships with Kuwaiti partners through hundreds of Key Leader Engagements (KLEs) and interactions with key host nation leaders. His partnership led to improvements in the Defense Cooperation Agreement and the Bilateral Program Financial Management Review (BPFMR).

In attendance were many key leaders and guests from the U.S. Embassy, Kuwait Ministry of Defense and NATO allies that worked alongside ASG-KU.

Herrman expressed his gratitude to many of his fellow colleagues that helped guide him through his tenure as the base commander.

“I am truly grateful for the friendships I have developed here,” said Herrman. “It has been an unanticipated, exciting and rewarding ride and I am so glad the Army chose me to command here in Kuwait."