German 405th AFSB Battalion Welcomes New Command Team in Official Ceremony | Article
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – Army Field Support Battalion-Germany conducted a dual change of command and assumption of responsibility ceremony on the main parade ground at Tower Barracks in Grafenwoehr, June 24.
The outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Rebecca Milkowski-Gerdelman, passed the unit colors of the German 405th Army Field Support Brigade Battalion to the incoming commander, Lt. Col. Denny Bernacki, signifying the change of command. Also during the ceremony, Master Sgt. Randolph Leyba assumed responsibility for AFSBn-Germany as the battalion’s Senior Enlisted Advisor.
405th AFSB Commander Col. Brad Bane presided over the change of command and assumption of responsibility ceremony and provided remarks. Bane said that over the past two years, Milkowski has led AFSBn-Germany through a myriad of high profile, non-failing missions under extremely stressful time constraints – all with superior results.
“The accomplishments of this battalion over a two-year period are nothing short of incredible – a complete testament not only to the team, but also to Lt. Col. Milkowski’s work ethic, leadership and ability to quickly grasp intent, to execute and to get results,” Bane said. .
When Bane welcomed the new commander of AFSBn-Germany, he told Bernacki that he knew he was well prepared and would succeed. Bane also welcomed the entire Bernacki family.
“The mission will be difficult, but take the time you can to experience all that Europe has to offer,” Bane said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime cultural education that you could never buy or go to school to get. Go out and enjoy it.
Milkowski’s next assignment will be with the U.S. Army’s Combined Arms Support Command, leading the Commander’s Planning and Initiatives Group CASCOM.
Bernacki arrives at AFSBn-Germany from Fort Lee, Va., where he was assigned to the Sustainment Capability Development Integration directorate of the U.S. Army Futures Command as chief of the Cross-Functional Sustainment Integration and Modernization Team. He also served with the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, Army-Hood Field Support Battalion and numerous other units and organizations both as an officer and as a enlisted soldier during his 24 years of service.
Leyba, who currently serves dual roles as the 405th AFSB Command Sergeant Major and Senior Advisor to AFSBn-Germany, has over 22 years of service in the military. He is enrolled in the Sergeant Major Academy’s Distance Learning Course, Class 48. Some of his previous assignments include Headquarters U.S. Army Materiel Command; 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division; 8th Theater Sustainment Command; 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division; and more.
During her remarks, Milkowski explained in detail why she is so proud of her team and all that she has achieved during her two years as commander of AFSBn-Germany.
“As the world has changed dramatically over the past 24 months, the German Battalion has accepted every challenge,” Milkowski said, “from the issue of equipment (Army Preposition Stocks-2) to (1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment) as part of the current package, executing the first-ever in-theatre equipment disposal for redeployment (Regional Aligned Forces Armored Brigade Combat Team)…and then doing it again for ( 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment) two months later, performing both Command and Control and Handoff (Equipment Configuration and Handoff Area) operations and equipment movement in support of DEFENDER-Europe 20+, DEFENDER-Europe 21 and DEFENDER-Europe 22, and assuming command and control of the Dülmen APS-2 shipyard.
“We also ran a configuration for combat, ensuring that our APS-2 stocks were complete and ready to operate at all times, and we converted our fleet to the red, orange and green maintenance cycle. And most recently, we worked together with the five APS-2 sites in Europe to provide equipment to the XVIII Airborne Corps in support of NATO’s response to the Ukraine crisis, and we partnered with the Mannheim Battalion for the reception, staging and broadcasting of ABCT 2.1. to the strongest Raider Brigade here in the beautiful Grafenwoehr training area,” added Milkowski.
“I will always be honored by what this battalion has accomplished, and I couldn’t be more proud of each member of this team. It was a remarkable run,” she said.
“I’m really excited to lead this great unit,” Bernacki said after taking command of AFSBn-Germany.
“Don’t let the lack of training here fool you,” he said. “The German battalion is made up of hundreds of soldiers, army civilians and contractors – subject matter experts – who bring tremendous capability to tackle the toughest support challenges across Europe.”
“For the battalion – AFSBn-Germany both here and at the Dülmen construction site – it’s very simple. We will take care of each other, support the mission and support the warrior,” Bernacki said.
Leyba echoed much of what Milkowski and Bernacki said during their remarks, but he also took the time to specifically thank the Brigade Commander and former Brigade Command Sergeant Major, Sergeant de commandment. Major Kofie Primus, for their confidence in him as he stepped into Primus’ shoes, acting as both the Acting Senior Enlisted Leader of the 405th AFSB and Senior Enlisted Advisor to AFSBn-Germany.
“I want to say thank you to everyone. I really appreciate that. Support the warrior. This is what we do. Activate the force,” Leyba said.
The Germany Battalion is one of four battalions assigned to the 405th AFSB. Based at Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Germany, AFSBn-Germany is responsible for providing and coordinating tactical and operational support to ensure theater readiness and enable commanders to conduct a full range of military operations in direct support of the US military in Europe and Africa. The German battalion provides logistical assistance to commanders facing challenges beyond their resources or capabilities. The battalion fulfills this function through the employment of the U.S. Army Materiel Command’s Logistics Assistance Program, comprised of technically proficient logistics assistance representatives from AMC’s Life Cycle Management commands. The battalion also provides mission oversight and command of APS-2 operations at the Dülmen yard in Germany, and is responsible for providing and coordinating the receipt, transfer, storage and maintenance of the APS-2 .
The 405th AFSB is assigned to the US Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, US Army Europe and Africa. The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides material support to U.S. forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater support logistics; synchronize acquisition, logistics and technology; and leverage the AMC hardware business to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official site and the official Facebook site.