By Amanda Kim Stairrett

Fort Hood Herald

In honor of the community partnership with Belton and Temple, the 13th Sustainment Command was presented with U.S. and Texas flags during its casing ceremony June 24.

The command's colors were cased for the third time since the Iraq war began. It soon will lead the largest re-posturing and drawdown of equipment and soldiers in the last 40 years, its commander said.

Brig. Gen. Paul Wentz hosted a colors-casing ceremony for the command, a ceremonial step in its preparation for deployment to Iraq.

The command last returned from Iraq in September 2007 after spending a year in one of the most dangerous areas in Iraq, Wentz said.

Jay Taggart, chairman of the Belton Chamber of Commerce's military relations committee, presented the command with the flags, which came via Rep. John Carter and state Rep. Ralph Sheffield.

"I hope you will present it proudly and defend it always," Taggart said of the American flag.

The command's contributions to the war on terrorism are well known throughout the Army, Wentz said. More than half of the 13th's units are deployed or getting ready to deploy. The 4th Sustainment Brigade recently returned, the 1st Medical Brigade recently deployed, and the 15th Sustainment Brigade will deploy later this year.

The command's upcoming mission will include getting all the "stuff" out of Iraq during the re-posturing, said Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, III Corps and Fort Hood commander.

The 13th Sustainment is nothing short of magnificent, the post's top leader said June 24. Lynch said since he arrived at Fort Hood last summer, the command has done everything asked of it and it has exceeded his expectations.

Also during the casing ceremony, ground was broken on the command's memorial. Work began late last year by a group of former and current 13th Sustainment soldiers who formed the 13th COSCOM Association that summer.

Contact Amanda Kim Stairrett at or (254) 501-7547.

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