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Commanders rotate in MTMC Pacific battalions.

The command assignments of the Military Traffic Management Command are normally three-year tours. So each summer, about one-third of MTMC's 24 port terminal units change hands.

It was unusual this summer to have the commanders at all three battalions of the 599th Transportation Group change hands within a 20-day period.

Soldiers in their crisp uniforms and black berets proudly stood beside their host nation team transporters in the Republic of Korea and Japan as their respective flags were posted at separate ceremonies.

The three ceremonies were each hosted by Col. Peter J. Gitto, Commander, 599th Transportation Group, Wheeler Army Air Field, Hawaii.

"Each unit must carry out the 599th's mission in a unique host country culture and environment while effectively and safely moving cargo for all of our deployed forces," said Gitto.

The ceremonies were conducted at the 835th Transportation Battalion, Okinawa, Japan; the 836th Transportation Battalion, in Yokohama, Japan; and the 837th Transportation Battalion, Pusan, Korea.

The first ceremony was conducted June 13 at Naha Port in Okinawa. Lt. Col. Clayton Newton took command of the 835th from Lt. Col. Joyce DiMarco.

In her new assignment, DiMarco's reports to the U. S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Newton just left a faculty position at the college.

The group's second change of command took place June 28 at Pier 8 in Pusan. Lt. Col. James Brundage took command of the 837th from Lt. Col. Floyd Driver.

In his new assignment, Driver reports to J4, Transportation Plans and Operations, U.S. Forces Korea, in Seoul. Brundage previously served as Deputy Director of Protocol, Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army, Washington, D.C.

Four days later, the group's final change of command took place in Yokohama.

Lt. Col. Darrell Jenkins took command of the 836th from Lt. Col. Kathi Kreklow.

In her new assignment, Kreklow will serve as the Chief, MTMC Operations Center, Fort Eustis, Va. Jenkins previously served with the Army Operational Test Command, Fort Hood, Texas.

"Each (departing) commander will be greatly missed," said Gitto to MTMC soldiers, civilians and guests at the ceremonies.

"But I know the new commanders are prepared to take the lead.

"New leaders bring operational experiences and new ideas to unit activities," said Gitto.

Gitto presented the new commanders with the following challenges:

* Maintain and strengthen group cohesiveness in a joint environment, for effective and efficient global deployment;

* Continue to nurture a positive relationship with the local community; and

* Make a great unit even better.

Terri Kojima Command Affairs Officer 599th Transportation Group
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Author:Kojima, Terri
Date:Sep 1, 2002
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