FT. WADSWORTH, N.Y. – Thunderous echoes bellowed inside of a 19th Century fortification as Soldiers and guests sat in silence. As clouds of smoke filled the air outside of Battery Weed from the burst of a 75mm pack howitzer cannon, the transfer of authority and entrustment of the civil affairs mission between two leaders was finally complete.
The 353rd Civil Affairs Command bid farewell to Brig. Gen. Glenn A. Goddard and welcomed Col. Robert S. Cooley (P) as its new commander during a change of command ceremony here.
Under Goddard, the command executed nine combat training center rotations and mobilized a civil affairs company in Eastern Europe in order to combat Russian aggression while supporting Special Operations Command in Africa.
“Africa is just as active as always with fights against Boko Haram and Al-Shabbab, but now we also have to provide major support to Europe,” said Goddard. “Sending teams to the Ukraine to train them on civil military operations in their fight against insurgents was a major feather in our cap.”
With 97% of civil affairs forces belonging to the U.S. Army Reserve, Cooley takes command of more than 2,000 Soldiers who’re trained to work alongside international organizations, host nation military forces, and the civilian populace.
“The Civil Affairs Soldiers are unique in many aspects as we are designed to bring
our outside skills, expertise and experience to the Army Reserves, active
component and international partners,” Cooley said. “We have the ability to see
global impacts and how violent extremist organizations (VEO) and terrorists
connect, communicate and operate across the many spectrums.”
Cooley said Terrorism survives when supported or tolerated by the local populace and Americans need to understand the power of the civil affairs mission as its Soldiers apply critical experience to solve complex problems.
During Goddard’s command, civil affairs Soldiers conducted missions throughout the Horn Of Africa from Tanzania to South Sudan and saw Soldiers support a four-star headquarters element during an Austere Challenge exercise.
In order to stay relevant and stand out from other units under the United States Army Civil Affairs Psychological Operations Command, Cooley said his Soldiers
skills and experiences are transferrable to many geographical locations and his troops understand no two situations are the same.
“Our Soldiers are comfortable in uncertainty and ambiguity, yet always manage to exceed expectations,” Cooley said. “The message to the command is simple…Be ready, be trained and be relevant now.”
|Date Posted:||10.12.2017 15:35|
|Location:||STATEN ISLAND, NY, US|
This work, 353rd CACOM welcomes new commander during change of command, by SSG Gregory Williams, identified by DVIDS, must comply with the restrictions shown on https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.