AL TAQADDUM, Iraq -- Col. David M. Richtsmeier, commanding officer of 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), transferred authority of the logistics combat element of Multinational Forces West to Brig. Gen. James A. Kessler, commanding general of 2nd MLG (Fwd), II MEF (Fwd) in an official ceremony here January 30.
Both organizations provide logistical support to units within Iraq’s Al Anbar Province. This is the third time 2nd MLG has been forward-deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The ceremony opened with comments from Maj. Gen. Richard Zilmer, commanding general of I MEF (Fwd). He told the attendees that the incoming logistics combat element had their work cut out for them during the deployment.
“I promise you everyday will be a challenge,” Zilmer explained.
Richtsmeier took time to reflect on the lives of 18 1st MLG (Fwd) service members killed in combat within the last year. He also complimented his staff on an outstanding job throughout their deployment.
“I had some great commanders, group staff, officers, staff (non-commissioned officers), and NCOs and troops,” Richtsmeier said. “I couldn’t be more proud of their efforts out here.”
Richtsmeier also reflected on the past year and gave the incoming group a wish of good luck.
“This has been a life changing experience for all of us. I believe it was a positive experience for all of those who participated,” he said.
After taking command, Kessler complimented the outgoing team on their outstanding performance and detailed turnover of MNF-W logistics responsibilities.
“We are much better off for your efforts, as well as the efforts of your staff,” Kessler said. “We are much more prepared to execute the mission.”