Civil Support Team welcomes new commander

By Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Chlosta
7th Civil Support Command Public Affairs Office

Photo of 7th CSC’s 773rd CST Changes Command
VOGELWEH, Germany – From left to right, Lt. Col. Leslie Dillard, the former commander of the 7th Civil Support Command‘s 773rd Civil Support Team, and Huntsville, Ala. native, Brig. Gen. Paul M. Benenati, the commanding general of 7th CSC and a native of Mechanicsville, Va., and Lt. Col. Sandy Sadler, the commander of the 773rd CST and a Natchez, Miss. Native, salute during the 773rd CST change of command ceremony Sept. 18, 2013. Sadler assumed command from Dillard during the event. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Chlosta, 7th CSC Public Affairs Office)

VOGELWEH, Germany – A new commander took the reins of the only civil support team operating outside the continental U.S. during a ceremony conducted Sept. 18 on Daenner Kaserne.

Lt. Col. Sandy Sadler assumed command of the 7th Civil Support Command’s 773rd Civil Support Team from Lt. Col. Leslie Dillard during a change of command ceremony Sept. 18.

Dillard, a Huntsville, Ala. native, relinquished command to Brig. Gen. Paul M. Benenati, the commanding general of the 7th CSC, and Mechanicsville, Va. native, who then passed the unit guidon to Sadler, a native of Natchez, Miss.

“I thank you sir, for your confidence in me to get the job done, to mold and shape the future of all hazards response in the European theater,” Dillard said. “You entrusted me with these Soldiers standing before you and they have responded to the challenges of developing new response protocols and integrating old ones.”

Benenati thanked Dillard for her efforts throughout her tenure as commander, noting the teams challenging responsibilities and readiness requirements.

“I want to thank you for what did here,” Benenati said in reference to Dillard before he asked for a round of applause.

During an escalation to help with an incident a host nation will call European Command and say, “This is bad. I need some help,” Benenati said.

All of the drilling with different European and NATO partners helps when an incidence happens, Benenati said. The CSTs were established to provide an immediate response capability resulting from a man-made or natural disaster involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear agents, where they serve as the advance incident party as part of Joint Task Force Consequence Management.

“Their trucks are parked at the door,” Benenati said. “They’re loaded and ready to go.”

Lt. Col. Dillard is responsible for that, Benenati added.

“To the Soldiers of the 773rd – you are the Army’s most technical force,” Dillard said. “You have accomplished much during my tenure and I fully expect that under lieutenant colonel Sadler you will continue to excel. Be the best at what you do. When the disaster comes, you will be ready, you will respond and you will save lives. I thank you for your mentorship as you have made me a better leader and officer.”

Sadler will serve as the third 773rd CST commander.

“Sandy will take them (the 773rd CST) to a place of increased readiness,” Benenati said.

The incoming commander thanked his predecessor and expressed his commitment to vigilance and continued success.

“It is important to maintain continuity,” Sadler said. “But it is just as important to welcome change. I look forward to serving alongside my command team and Soldiers while enhancing the proficiency of the 773rd but most importantly we will stay humble yet vigilant in maintaining our compass to success.”

The U.S. Army Reserve’s 773rd CST, the only Army civil support team operating outside the continental United States and is the only Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear asset remaining in U.S. Army Europe.

The unit specializes in the identification of CBRN agents and substances, and assesses current and projected consequences before, during, and after an incident.

For more information, the media may contact the 7th Civil Support Command public affairs office by email, or by phone at German local: 0631 411 4725, German cell: 0162 270 4936.

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