Sentinels unveil new colors, welcome new commander in ceremony

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http://news.soc.mil/releases/News Archive/2009/July/090717-04.html

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, July 17, 2009) – The 528th Sustainment Brigade (Airborne) received both new unit colors and a new commanding officer during an activation and change of command ceremony July 17 on Meadows Field.

Col. Lenny Kness received command of the newly activated unit from Col. Duane Gamble during the ceremony. Prior to the change of command, the new colors of the recently re-designated unit were unfurled by Command Sgt. Maj. Charles Tobin, brigade command sergeant major, and Lt. Gen. John Mulholland, commanding general of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. Mulholland also presided over the ceremony.

“I’m truly honored to be back at Fort Bragg joining the Sentinel team,” Kness said. “Sentinels, I’m proud to be a part of your team. I’m excited to join you so we can continue to build, transform and shape the brigade in order to provide the best support to Special Operations Forces worldwide.”

Formerly the Sustainment Brigade (Special Operations) (Airborne), the 528th Sustainment Brigade (Airborne) was officially activated during the ceremony. Although the name and insignia changed, the brigade’s mission remains the same: providing dedicated service and support to Army Special Operations across the world.

“There’s a saying that amateurs talk about strategy, while professionals speak about logistics,” Mulholland said. “No matter how tough of a burly Ranger or Green Beret you may be, without the ammunition, the food, the clothing and equipment you need every day… well, let’s just say you can only do so much with rocks. It is the logisticians behind the scenes, the communicators and Special Operations medical specialists bringing their magic to the battlefield, who allow the warfighting piece of this command to do what they do.”

Mulholland applauded Gamble’s accomplishments during his command, as well as the Soldiers of the brigade he is passing on to Kness.

“It has never been done better than it has under Duane’s command,” he said. “All of these pieces do incredible work at making the fight happen, but you don’t the enabling piece under that. This is the formation that does that. That doesn’t happen by accident, it happens because of leadership. Duane, I thank you for what you have done here, by building on the great accomplishments of your predecessors. That is what every commander’s job is, to take what is great and make it better.”

It was a bittersweet moment for Gamble, who also spoke highly of the Soldiers he had under his command.

“When I stood here two years ago, I told you how proud, privileged and humbled I was to have the opportunity to serve as commander of this fine brigade and to support our Army’s finest warriors,” he said. “Today, I’ll tell you that my service here as the commander of this team has been the highlight of my 24 year career.”

Now, as Mulholland put it, Kness has the responsibility to continue building on the successes of his predecessor.

“Lenny we welcome you into command,” he said. “He’s no stranger to Army Special Operations, and is a proven practitioner at every level of command. There could be no better guy to step in and take up the mantle of these new beautiful colors, taking them to the next level. That’s his job.”

Up for the task, Kness said he is humbled to have been selected for the command.

“I’m without a doubt joining the best sustainment brigade in the Army, and I appreciate the path of excellence you [Gamble] have set for this organization,” he said.

Kness enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve on Oct. 5, 1982, as a tank turret mechanic. After graduating from Northeast Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science, he was commissioned into the Quartermaster Corps in 1987. He has also earned a Master of Science degree in Continuing Education from Kansas State University.

His previous duty assignments include Korea; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Fort Lewis, Wash.; Fort Bragg, N.C.; and Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii. He has served in positions all the way from platoon leader to deputy brigade commander, and now, brigade commander. His deployments include Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operations Sea Signal, and three rotations of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Kness’ military education includes Quartermaster Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Airborne School, Air Assault School, Ranger School, Jumpmaster School, Parachute Rigger Course, Support Operations Course, Combined Arms Services Staff School, Command and General Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

His awards include four Bronze Star Medals, two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, four Meritorious Service Medals, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, the Army Achievement Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal, two Joint Meritorious Unit Awards, two Meritorious Unit Commendations, and the Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation. He has also earned the Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge and Parachute Rigger Badge.

Gamble will move on to become the G-4 of the XVIII Airborne Corps here.

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Lt. Gen. John Mulholland (right), USASOC commanding general, helps Command Sgt. Maj. Charles Tobin (center), 528th Sustainment Brigade (Airborne) command sergeant major, unfurl the unit’s new colors during an activation and change of command ceremony on Meadows Field July 17. Formerly known as the Sustainment Brigade (Special Operations) (Airborne), the brigade was officially activated in the ceremony. (Photo by Spc. Tony Hawkins, USASOC PAO)

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Col. Lenny Kness, incoming commander of the 528th Sustainment Brigade (Airborne), receives the unit’s new colors from Lt. Gen. John Mulholland, USASOC commanding general, during an activation and change of command ceremony on Meadows Field July 17. (Photo by Spc. Tony Hawkins, USASOC PAO)

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Col. Lenny Kness, incoming commander of the 528th Sustainment Brigade (Airborne), delivers remarks after assuming command of the brigade during a ceremony on Meadows Field July 17. (Photo by Spc. Tony Hawkins, USASOC PAO)
 
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