The 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion has served with honor and distinction in the European Theater since the World Wars. Part of the 16th Sustainment Brigade "Knights Brigade," the battalion prides itself on being the only combat sustainment support battalion in all of Europe and supports missions and operations across the globe for U.S. Army Europe and the 21st Theater Sustainment Command.
Originally constituted on July 16, 1940 as the 3rd Ordnance Battalion (Maintenance), the unit activated on July 1, 1941 at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland; it was designated the 8th Ordnance Battalion on August 11, 1941. The battalion arrived in Europe in the spring of 1944 as part of the 51st Ordnance Group and provided support to the 1st Army through Victory in Europe Day, May 8, 1945, and to the 9th and 7th Armies, respectively, during the initial occupation. For its distinguished service during World War II, the battalion was awarded campaign streamers for the Rhineland and Central European campaigns. In Paris, France, on December 15, 1946, the unit was demobilized.
On August 1,1951, four years after being deactivated, the 8th Ordnance Battalion was reactivated in Feudenhaven, Germany. The battalion moved again in May 1955 to Pioneer Kaserne, Hanau, Germany. On August 16, 1965, under the COSTAR Concept, the unit was officially re-designated as the 8th Maintenance Battalion. On July 15, 1993 the unit was further re-designated the 18th Corps Support Battalion. On June 20, 1994, the battalion transferred to Hutier Kaserne. In June 2002, after forty-seven years of service in Hanau Germany, the 18th Corps Support Battalion transferred to Grafenwoehr, Germany as part of a 3rd COSCOM realignment and shifted its focus from maintenance to transportation and ammunition management.
In the last few years, the 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion has deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom, Hungary in support of Operation Joint Endeavor/Guard, supported NATO operations as part of Operations Allied Force and Shining Hope in Tirana, Albania, and conducted three Kosovo Force rotations at Camp Able Sentry in Macedonia. The unit supports exercises and operations across Europe, including support to Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania.
Lt. Col. John R. Abella