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NEWS | Sept. 24, 2015

Signal command says goodbye to its chemical units

By Lt. Col. Gregory Majewski 335th Signal Command (Theater)

ATLANTA - The 335th Signal Command (Theater) officially said goodbye to a nearly decade long relationship with its chemical units Sunday following a casing ceremony at its annual Commander’s Conference here in Georgia.   

The ceremony symbolized the realignment of 90 percent of the chemical assets in the U.S. Army Reserve from the 335th SC (T) to the 76th Operational Response Command located in Salt Lake City, Utah. The official transition of chemical units will take effect Oct. 1. 

“This is bittersweet because we are losing half our family in one swoop,” said Brig. Gen. Christopher Kemp, Commanding General 335th SC (T). “The great thing about families is that you stay together and we know we will work again with our chemical brothers and sisters in some capacity in the future.”

The 209th Regional Support Group and 415th Chemical Brigade became part of the 335th SC (T) in 2006 after a major U.S. Army Reserve transformation and realignment. 

“We will not miss a beat during this transition to the 76th,” said Col. Michael Maguire, 415th Chemical Brigade Commander. “We will be ready to meet any challenge that’s thrown at us.”

Deputy Commanding General of the 76th ORC, Brig. Gen. James Blankenhorn, echoed Kemp’s sentiment of the bittersweet nature of the transfer, but also voiced his appreciation of being part of such a great organization.

“We are proud to call our signal counterparts brothers and sisters in arms,” said Blankenhorn. “We were blessed to be part of a command which held high standards and worked a positive work environment.”

Planning for the movement of the two brigades began months ago for the 335th SC (T) operations section, which presented challenges for the command to overcome for a smooth transition. 

“Some of the biggest hurdles were coordinating all the staff sections to work together to establish an end point on personnel actions like evaluations and awards,” said Maj. Sulene Deloatch, the 335th SC (T) Force Management officer in charge.  “Ensuring financial actions continue through the next fiscal year for the chemical units is critical for fielding new equipment and training.” 

The 335th SC (T) will lose 4,000 chemical soldiers as part of the reorganization but will gain 700 cyber soldiers as Army Reserve elements of Cyber Command reorganize under the 335th.