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5th Special Forces Support Battalion hold change of command at Fort Campbell

 

Written by Sgt. Justin Moeller
5th Special Forces Group

5th Special Forces GroupFort Campbell, KY – Soldiers, families and friends with the Group Support Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), also known as “Legion,” welcomed their new commander July 24th, 2014.

During a ceremony held here at Gabriel Field, Lt. Col. Fred L. Dela Cruz relinquished command of the GSB, 5th SFG (A), to Lt. Col. Anthony J. Boniface Jr. a native of Albany NY.

Lt. Col. Anthony J. Boniface Jr., incoming commander of the Group Support Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), salutes the battalion formation at the close of the GSB change of command ceremony held July 25, 2014, here at Gabriel field. (Sgt. Justin A. Moeller/U.S. Army)

Lt. Col. Anthony J. Boniface Jr., incoming commander of the Group Support Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), salutes the battalion formation at the close of the GSB change of command ceremony held July 25, 2014, here at Gabriel field. (Sgt. Justin A. Moeller/U.S. Army)

Although this is Boniface’s first position in the 5th SFG (A), he is no stranger to the support community, or Fort Campbell, and was welcomed warmly to the Legion.

“Though we are bidding farewell to a truly exceptional family, we are very fortunate to welcome Lt. Col. Tony Boniface and his wife Alicia to the Legion,” said Col. John W. Brennan, commander of the 5th SFG (A). “Though they are new to the Legion, the Boniface’s are returnees to Fort Campbell, as they spent four years here while assigned to the 101st Airborne Division.”

Some of his previous assignments at Fort Campbell include: Division Supply Officer G4, 101st Abn. Div.; Battalion S4, Headquarters commander, and Company A commander with the 426th Forward Support Battalion (Later 426th Brigade Support Battalion), 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Abn. Div.; Military Transition Team and Brigade S4, 1st BCT, 101st Abn. Div.

“A consummate logistical professional, Tony comes to us with an extremely beneficial pedigree of SOF(Special Operation Forces) experiences,” expressed Brennan. “At 3rd Special Forces Group, 528 Sustainment Brigade (Special Operations), CJSOTF-A (Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan), as well as Theater Sustainment Command in Kuwait; he certainly has a broad and rich past that we’ll all lean on collectively.”

Lt. Col. Fred L. Dela Cruz, outgoing commander of the Group Support Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), gives a speech during GSB change of command ceremony held July 25, 2014, here at Gabriel field.  (Sgt. Justin A. Moeller/U.S. Army)

Lt. Col. Fred L. Dela Cruz, outgoing commander of the Group Support Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), gives a speech during GSB change of command ceremony held July 25, 2014, here at Gabriel field. (Sgt. Justin A. Moeller/U.S. Army)

All of Boniface’s experiences will make for an easy transition in to the thriving command that Dela Cruz built.

Col. John W. Brennan, commander of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), gives a speech during Group Support Battalion change of command ceremony held July 25, 2014, here at Gabriel field.  (Sgt. Justin A. Moeller/U.S. Army)

Col. John W. Brennan, commander of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), makes his remarks (Sgt. Justin A. Moeller/U.S. Army)

“Under Fred’s (Dela Cruz) outstanding leadership the (Group Support) battalion has indeed flourished,” said Col. John W. Brennan. “Fred has opened many, previously closed doors with many SOF and inter-agency partners. At Lt. Col. Dela Cruz’s direction, the GSB has taken on a plethora of transformative initiatives that have taken them all out of their collective comfort zones and in to the clandestine and covert logistical worlds.”

Providing covert support is what sets the GSB apart from conventional support battalions.

“The men and women of the GSB provide a unique and organic set of capabilities to the group that are unmatched in any other unit in the United States Army,” said Brennan.

Having unmatched capabilities stems from the innovativeness and flexibility of the command.

“Fred Dela Cruz has proven that he and the (Group Support) battalion are not only flexible, almost to the point of water, but they are also extremely innovative,” said Brennen. “Fred is not only a visionary planner and effective leader, he and his wife Becky have proven time and time again that they care deeply about their Soldiers and their families. The Dela Cruz family will be sorely missed around the Legion area.”

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