"The brigade will keep its history and lineage," Col. Douglas McBride, the brigade's commander, said. "We have quite a long and storied history that traces its roots back to World War II."
When the conversion is complete, a brigadier general will command the ESC. At this time, no general officer has been selected. The date for standing up the new command is tentatively scheduled for this summer.
"The man or woman who steps into this command will be a senior logistician who has served well at every level," McBride said.
The Sustainment Command is the Army's Logistics Headquarters. Its primary mission is to command the sustainment brigades that provide combat support and combat service support in the areas of supply, maintenance, transportation, field services and the functional brigades or battalions that provide medical, general engineering and construction, smoke generation, biological detection and decontamination support.
It's quite a large spearhead to keep sharp.
Presently there are only two ESCs in the Army. JBLM will be home to the third.
"By bringing this ESC to JBLM balances the force and helps spread the work load," McBride continued.
"It gives the Army a third ESC, and it gives I Corps a single nucleus for all things sustainment. The ESC will be the single point of contact for the I Corp commander."
And that contact will be able to deploy at a moment's notice as the Corps realigns its mission to the Pacific.
"The new commander will have the challenge of aligning the ESC with I Corps' mission," McBride continued.
He went on to say that the conversion will be seamless; that I Corps has made the job easier; and that the one-star will walk into a smooth running operation.
The ESC's logistical spearhead take on an even sharper edge because of its ability to leverage other logistical assets in the area through partnerships and exercises in order to amplify its efforts.
"The new command will work with stakeholders in the Pacific Rim, the National Guard and Reserves," McBride explained.
"We're part of the Pacific Northwest; our unit patch has Mount Rainier on it; and the ESC will remain connected to this community."