By Army Staff Sgt. Scott J. Evans 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
POZNAN, Poland, March 9, 2018 — A Mission Command Element liaison officer assigned to the 21st Theater Sustainment Command was recognized for his contributions to the Atlantic Resolve mission at the MCE headquarters here, Feb. 19.
Army Capt. Jason M. Spalding was awarded the Army Commendation Medal by Army Brig. Gen. William L. Thigpen, deputy commanding general, 4th Infantry Division, for his work to improve conditions for the service members currently serving here.
“Whether its gym equipment or furniture and supplies for our Morale, Welfare and Recreation, Captain Spalding has contributed an incredible amount for the quality of life of this organization,” Thigpen said.
Spalding, who hails from Stuarts Draft, Virginia, is a logistics officer assigned to the 21st Theater Sustainment Command based in Kaiserslautern, Germany. He has been assigned in Europe at different points in his career, and has experience handling what can be tedious paperwork and other administrative requirements that ensure border crossings for cargo and transportation are up to standard.
Spalding has served with 21st Theater Sustainment Command since September 2017 and was assigned as a liaison officer with the MCE in Poznan, Poland, November 2017 in order to facilitate a closer working relationship between the two units.
He handles supply coordination between 21st TSC and 4th ID MCE and subordinate brigades ensuring that items such as water, fuel, and ammunition reach training areas throughout the Atlantic Resolve area of operations. He ensures mission accomplishment and improves the quality of life of service members.
During his time at the MCE, Spalding drove approximately 2,500 miles and delivered $1.1 million worth of equipment to subordinate unit locations in an effort to build more capacity, said Army Maj. Christian Gatbonton, the 4th Infantry Division’s MCE transportation officer.
Because of Spalding’s efforts, service members stationed at locations such as the Mission Command Element have been able to maintain physical readiness, said Army Staff Sgt. Brian Pierce, originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, serving here with the 44th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 2nd Signal Brigade.
“Being able to have these types of facilities with various types of fitness equipment is definitely helpful with keeping us in shape,” Pierce said.
Due to working in various countries, regulations for U.S. Army Europe can be very different from what supply offices encounter back in the United States. As a liaison officer, Spalding provides the subject matter expertise in areas that fall outside the scope of the typical division supply experience.
Spalding said he appreciates the camaraderie he finds each time he gets the opportunity to serve in Europe.
“I find that soldiers tend to be closer [when serving] abroad than back home,” he said. “It seems that it’s because we have to rely on each other more to get by.”
(Editor’s Note: The 4th Infantry Division transferred authority of the Atlantic Resolve Mission Command Element to the 1st Infantry Division in a ceremony at Poznan, Poland, Feb. 28, 2018. Three years ago, in response to increased regional tensions, the 4th Inf. Div. formed the first Atlantic Resolve MCE, serving as the intermediate headquarters between U.S. Army Europe and U.S. Regionally Aligned Forces deployed throughout the eight eastern European Atlantic Resolve countries of Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.)