Army’s two-star sustainment command in Europe gets a new leader
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Around 11,000 soldiers and civilians who support the Army’s troop movements across Europe have a new leader.
Maj. Gen. Christopher O. Mohan took command Wednesday of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, a unit whose role has greatly expanded across Eastern Europe.
Mohan, a career logistician, replaces Maj. Gen. Steven Shapiro, who led the command for two years.
The 21st TSC has underpinned the shift in military posture on the Continent since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and proxy war in Ukraine, helping move and sustain one of the largest influxes of forces and hardware back to Europe since the end of the Cold War.
The 21st TSC “is the engine that makes the U.S. Army in Europe go,” U.S. Army Europe commander Lt. Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli told the hundreds of personnel, civilians and allies assembled on the parade field at Daenner Kaserne.
The command “does everything we need to be able to prepare and to fight in this theater,” he said, from offloading equipment brought by ship to escorting convoys to Eastern Europe and the Baltics, where rotations of U.S.-based troops train and work with allies to protect NATO’s eastern flank.
“Moving a brigade across Europe and everyone knows their roles –— that’s deterrence,” said Shapiro, who is to report to Rock Island, Ill., to lead the U.S. Army Sustainment Command.
The command expects to continue to support troop movements into the theater, Mohan said in an interview after the ceremony, including units called on to mobilize quickly from the States as part of a Pentagon strategy aimed at keeping adversaries off balance with more unpredictable troop movements.
“It’s very important for our Army to work and regain the muscle memory of doing deployments and deploying with all of our equipment from the continental United States to anywhere around the world,” Mohan said.
For Mohan, it’s his first assignment in Europe after two previous missed chances.
“We had orders in our hands and got the old phone call, ‘Hey, you’re going somewhere else,’ twice before,” he said. “We are absolutely thrilled to be here.”
The outgoing commander of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, Maj. Gen. Steven A. Shapiro, right, embraces U.S. Army Europe commander Lt. Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli at the 21st TSC change of command ceremony in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Wednesday, July 31, 2019. Maj. Gen. Christopher O. Mohan took over from Shapiro at the ceremony.
MICHAEL ABRAMS/STARS AND STRIPES