Fort Hood’s 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command welcomed a new commanding general Thursday as scores of soldiers and family members took in the sights and sounds of the change of command ceremony at Sadowski Field.
The Lucky 13th’s new commander is Brig. Gen. Darren L. Werner — who comes back to Fort Hood for a third time from the Pentagon, where he served as director of Strategy, Plans and Integration Deputy Chief of Staff (G-4).
Werner last served at the Great Place with the 4th Infantry “Ivy” Division as the brigade support operations officer, during Operation Iraqi Freedom as a battalion executive officer and later with the 4th Support Battalion as battalion commander in 2007.
III Corps deputy commander Maj. Gen. J.T. Thomson referred to the occasion as a “Phantomtastic day here at Sadowski Field as we transition the leadership,” since the day also marked the 20th wedding anniversary of Werner and his wife Melissa.
Thomson added, “I know that Brig. Gen. Werner will make us Phantom ready and Phantom strong,”
“My wife and I met at Fort Hood. We’ve spent the better part of our lives here at Fort Hood and are glad to be back right here with all of you,” Werner stated. “My wife and I are excited to be back and be a part of the Phantom Warrior team.”
Werner replaced Brig. Gen. Douglas McBride Jr., who will now serve as commandant of the Quarter Master School at Fort Lee, Virginia.
“I would also like to thank Maj. Gen. Thomson for his guidance that was pivotal in my development,” McBride said. “I would like to thank Lt. Gen Paul Funk II for his leadership and trust as we sustained the readiness of America’s Hammer — the mighty III Corps,
“We gave the shirts off our back and the boots off our feet to accomplish any mission,” McBride said of the troops of the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command.
The Lucky 13th was activated in 1965 during the Vietnam War in support of extensive deployments from Fort Hood at the time.
Soldiers of the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command first deployed to Managua, Nicaragua, to support earthquake disaster relief in December 1972. The unit also deployed in 1990 to Saudi Arabia to provide combat support during Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Desert Calm and Operation Provide Comfort.
In 1992, the unit deployed to Cuba to aid Haitian refugees during Operation Safe Harbor and later assisted with relief for Florida’s Hurricane Andrew.
Soldiers of the 13th ESC have also deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Intrinsic Action and to support the U.S. Central Command and the United Task Force in Somalia.
Moreover, the unit would see additional deployments: Operation Vigilant Warrior, in Kuwait, and as part of Operation Sea Signal V in Cuba. The unit also participated in Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti and in support of the Global War on Terror: Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Inherent Resolve, Freedom Sentinel in Afghanistan and Spartan Shield in Kuwait. The unit has provided support for U.S. Central Command elements in Jordan and worked to support the Combined Joint Task Force in the fight against the Islamic State.
Most recently, the unit assisted with relief efforts related to Hurricane Harvey in Houston.