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NEWS | Oct. 12, 2021

U.S. Army Reserve civil affairs battalions realign; enhances the 353rd Civil Affairs Command European mission

By Master Sgt. Emily Anderson 353rd Civil Affairs Command

In a move to meet current and future operational demands, the 353rd Civil Affairs Command transitions its U.S. Africa Command civil affairs support and command relationship responsibilities to the 352nd CACOM and will focus its two brigades on civil affairs military operations in the U.S. European Command area of operations beginning Oct. 1, 2021.

“Change is good and necessary to maintain relevancy into an every-changing future,” said Brig. Gen. Timothy Brennan, the Commanding General of the 353rd CACOM. “The 353rd will focus the entirety of the command on the European area of responsibility.”

Aligned under the U.S. Army Civil Affairs & Psychological Operations Command (Airborne), the 353rd CACOM will continue to organize, training, and equip assigned Civil Affairs forces to mobilize, deploy, conduct civil military operations.

“By aligning our resources and our geographic focus on priority areas, we (USACAPOC(A)) can provide better support to our mission partners,” Brennan added.

In addition to this shift, the 353rd CACOM transfers the 404th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) to the 352nd CACOM and assumes the 486th Civil Affairs Battalion from the 350th CACOM.

Although the 404th CA BN served as a civil affairs unit under the 353rd CACOM within the 304th Civil Affairs Brigade, the 486th CA BN, headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will now take on this role.

“We wish the 404th the best of luck and welcome the 486th to the team,” Brennan said. The 404th has a remarkable history and lineage. It has been a unit within the Army since 1948 and with the 353rd since the early 1970s.”

This realignment was not an easy task. It required work from multiple teams within the civil affairs environment, and the 353rd CACOM worked hard to incorporate a planning methodology known as the Military Decision Making Process to ensure a smooth transition.

“The 353rd CACOM staff immediately established a planning team to execute the MDMP,” said Lt. Col. J. Zeke Pittard, Deputy, G-3, 353rd CACOM. “Leaders and staff stayed in close coordination with our fellow CACOMs and participated in regular meetings with USACAPOC(A) to ensure the 353rd CACOM would seamlessly realign in a timely manner.”

While the 353rd CACOM previously focused its efforts on missions with AFRICOM and EUCOM, the shift will help to further strengthen relationships in countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, and more.

“The 353rd CACOM Soldiers will be able to focus on Europe, providing an opportunity to build relations and gain a better understanding of the European theater,” Pittard added. “It’s an opportunity to build enduring relationships with our supported commands at every level, as well as with our allies and partners in Europe.”

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