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NEWS | Nov. 25, 2020

301st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade completes an Area Support Group-Jordan rotation highlighted by COVID-19

By Story by Capt. Ernest Wang Area Support Group - Jordan

The 301st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, completed its mission as Area Support Group-Jordan on Tuesday.

In a virtual transfer of authority ceremony, the 301st MEB, led by Col. Derek Ulehla and Command Sgt. Maj. James Marsh, turned over responsibility of its Base Operating Support-Integrator mission to the 143rd Regional Support Group of the Connecticut Army National Guard.

Presiding over the ceremony was the Commanding General of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command, Maj. Gen. John P. Sullivan. Attendance was limited to official parties as a COVID-19 precaution.

The 301st MEB mobilized to Jordan last March in support of U.S. Army Central. It was the U.S. Army Reserve brigade headquarters’ first overseas mobilization since its was established in 2008.

Their primary mission was to provide support operations for U.S. and Coalition forces in Jordan, and to partner closely with the Jordan Armed Forces to enhance joint capabilities.

Within days of the unit’s arrival, however, the mission set quickly evolved to include the demanding yet critical responsibilities of COVID-19 screening, quarantine, and isolation for all transiting military service members.

“The 301st not only embraced this mission, but absolutely succeeded in it,” said Sullivan in his remarks. “The leadership Col. Ulehla and Command Sgt. Maj. Marsh provided during this time was critical.”

Over the previous nine months, the 301st MEB brigade staff oversaw logistical support, force protection, engineer survey and project management support, communications integration, and human resource services.

They faced numerous COVID-19-related obstacles, yet overcame all challenges to deliver outstanding support.

In addition, they opened spiritual resiliency trips, and morale, welfare and recreation excursions for service members over the summer, when COVID-19 cases in Jordan were extremely rare.

“Amidst all of this, you also focused on readiness and trained hard with multiple ranges, professional military education, and stood up an emergency Basic Leader Course,” added Sullivan. A total of 42 junior enlisted Soldiers in Jordan graduated from emergency BLC, which was held remotely under the instruction of volunteer noncommissioned officer instructors.

“Incredible accomplishments by an incredible team of individuals,” concluded Sullivan.

In his departing remarks, Ulehla first thanked U.S. Army Central and the 1st TSC for their support and confidence in his unit. He then thanked key leadership from the Jordan Armed Forces and contractor Loyalty Support Services for their hospitality and assistance throughout the pandemic.

In his closing, Ulehla thanked his formation for their contributions to the mission.

“Soldiers of the 301st, we did an amazing job adapting for this mission,” he said. “I credit your professionalism, positive attitude, perseverance, and hard work for our mission success. You are the finest examples of what it means to be American soldiers that place the mission first.”

Assuming command of ASG-J for the 143rd RSG was Col. Thomas Dennis who thanked the 301st MEB for preparing his unit for its mission.

To his troops, he said, “I’m absolutely confident that you’ll deliver the same responsiveness and innovations as your predecessors.

The U.S. military is in Jordan to partner with the Jordan Armed Forces to meet common security objectives in the region. Jordan is one of the U.S.’s closest allies in the world.

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