13TH ESC, THE LUCKY 13TH!
The 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command (ESC) was activated in September 1965 at Ford Hood, Texas. Soldiers of the 13th ESC first deployed to Managua, Nicaragua to assist in earthquake disaster relief from December 23, 1972. In 1990, units from the 13th ESC deployed to Saudi Arabia to provide combat support and combat service support during Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Desert Calm and Operation Provide Comfort.
In 1992, 13th ESC Soldiers deployed to Cuba to aid Haitian refugees during Operation Safe Harbor, and later assisted victims of Hurricane Andrew in Florida. Soldiers of the 13th ESC also deployed to Kuwait to train and ensure the peace in support of Operation Intrinsic Action. In 1992 the 13th ESC was called to duty again to Somalia to support the U.S. Central Command and established United Task Force Somalia (UNITAF). Elements of the 13th ESC deployed to Mogadishu to serve as the nucleus of Joint Task Force Support Command. From 1994 through 1998 the 13th ESC conducted numerous operations across a wide span of operational assignments by providing multifunctional sustainment support to Army Forces supporting Operation Vigilant Warrior in Kuwait; humanitarian and peacekeeping missions in Cuba as part of Operation Sea Signal V; Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti; Operation Strong Support as part of Joint Task Force-Bravo following Hurricane Mitch in Honduras; and as part of Stabilization Force (SFOR) 6 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The 13th ESC also deployed their engineers to Thule, Greenland for additional support missions.
The 13th ESC would be called upon yet again to support the Global War on Terror. Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) saw elements of the 13th ESC deployed in the region since 1997 and remain a critical node supporting all U.S. and coalition forces in theater. The 13th ESC first deployed a Medical Evacuation Headquarters and an Air Evacuation Company on February 12, 2003, to Kuwait. Eventually, the 13th ESC deployed two of its brigades in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In August 2003, the call came for the Soldiers of the 13th ESC to participate in ongoing operations in Iraq. On January 31, 2004 the 3rd Corps Support Command provided sustainment support to Coalition Joint Task Force 7. Elements of 13th ESC were called into action in support of Joint Task Force Katrina/Rita hurricane relief efforts in the summer of 2005. The 13th ESC cased their colors once again in preparation for deployment in support of OIF 06-08, providing sustainment support and security throughout the theater of operations. On July 17, 2009, Soldiers of the 13th ESC deployed again to Iraq and assumed the mission for all theater logistics. In December of 2011, the 13th ESC deployed to Afghanistan supporting the NATO Training Mission.
In December 2014, the 13th ESC headquarters deployed to assume the role as the Operational Command Post for the 1st Theater Sustainment Command, with the mission to provide Theater Sustainment Mission Command to Army, Joint, and Multinational Forces in the USCENTCOM Area of Responsibility, enabling Unified Land Operations and Theater Security Cooperation. The 13th ESC supported Operations Inherent Resolve (Iraq), Freedom Sentinel (Afghanistan), Spartan Shield (Kuwait) supported USCENTCOM forward elements in Jordan, and worked in cooperation with Combined Joint Interagency Task Force - Syria (CJIATF-S). The 13th ESC redeployed in August 2015, reassuming its stateside mission to support III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas. In August 2017, elements of the 13th ESC provided essential command and control, rescue, and relief operations during Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas. The unit remains always ready to deploy with no notice to short notice, to support efforts around the world.
INSIGNIA ORIGIN & MEANING
Shoulder Sleeve Insignia: Designed on a yellow octagon with a blue border, a scarlet saltire throughout surmounted by a blue star of thirteen points fimbriated in yellow. The octagon reinforced by the saltire refers to the unit's mission of supporting the combat, combat support and combat service support organizations of the Corps. The star symbolizes the many far reaching missions of the command, and having thirteen points, the star also alludes to its numerical designation. The octagon is a symbol of regeneration; it alludes to the combat service support functions of the unit as consistently renewing the strength and vigor of the Corps. Yellow alludes to the supply and service functions of the command. Scarlet alludes to the maintenance and transportation functions of the command. The blue represents other support rendered by the command. This combination identifies the colors which are used in the flags of combat service support organizations.
Distinctive Unit Insignia: The insignia was redesignated for the 13th ESC on 7 March 2006. A gold color metal and enamel insignia consisting of a blue star of thirteen points, one point up, bearing a gold saltire between three smaller gold saltires, all above a gold scroll, the middle section surmounting the star, inscribed "SERVICE TO THE SOLDIER" in red letters. The star of thirteen points refers to the unit's numerical designation. The central saltire stands for the command and the three smaller saltires for the Corps which it supports. The colors gold, red and blue are used in the flags of combat service support units. They refer to the supply and service, maintenance, transportation and other support functions of the command.