Story by SFC Jason Ragucci on 07/02/2019The brigade packs parachutes, rigs equipment and provides other support for the division. The unit's efforts during the storm showed how it can respond in a crisis, according to Col. Jon P. Beale, who relinquished command of the brigade June 21.
"It's amazing to see," he said. "It's what we train for every day."
Beale had been the unit's commander for two years. Col. Herman "Jay" L. Johnson assumed command at a ceremony at Fort Bragg's Pike Field.
Command Sgt. Maj. Roberto Perez relinquished responsibility to Command Sgt. Maj. David O. Nelson during the ceremony.
Johnson said he is humbled and blessed to take command of the brigade. He deployed to Iraq with the unit for 15 months in 2006-07.
"I feel like it's a homecoming," he said.
Maj. Gen. James Mingus, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, praised the brigade's work during the hurricane.
The unit's paratroopers also rescued 112 dogs, 29 cats, two parrots and two horses. They also delivered about 1,000 cases of water and nearly 900 cases of Meals Ready to Eat.
Mingus said the unit packed 125,000 parachutes last year.
"There's nothing this division could do without the Sustainment Brigade," he said. "You are our lifeline."
Mingus said 82nd officials have a heavy heart as they say goodbye to Beale and Perez. Beale will move to Fort Bragg's U.S. Army Special Operations Command, where he will work on logistics. Perez will be serving in Korea.
Beale said commanding the brigade was the highlight of his 27 years in the Army.
"It's an immense honor to serve with America's sons and daughters," he said.
Mingus called Johnson and Nelson a "great command team." He said, Johnson is no stranger to Fort Bragg.
"You are the right leader at the right time to lead this brigade," he said
Johnson told Mingus that he and Nelson are grateful for the opportunity to lead the brigade.
"We are prepared to give the shirts off our backs and the boots off our feet to support the division," he said.