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Dan
07-19-2005, 16:59
RELEASE NUMBER: 050719-03
DATE POSTED: JULY 19, 2005

10th Special Forces Group welcomes, farewells commanders at Fort Carson
By Staff Sgt. Kyle Cosner
10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Public Affairs

FORT CARSON, Colo. (July 19, 2005) — Hundreds of Green Berets and support Soldiers from the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) assembled in formation at Manhart Field here July 22 to honor two veteran Special Forces officers during the group’s change of command ceremony.

Col. Kenneth E. Tovo, a multiple-tour veteran of the 10th SFG — most recently as a former 3rd Battalion commander — accepted command of the group from Col. Michael S. Repass during the ceremony.

Repass had commanded the group since 2003 and through two combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Repass and elements of the 10th SFG recently returned to the post after completing an OIF deployment rotation, where he led a combined joint special operations task force during his time in the region.

In keeping with Army tradition, Repass handed the group colors and their symbolic responsibility for the unit’s Soldiers to Brig. Gen. Gary M. Jones, commander of the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne). With a few private words of encouragement, Jones then passed the flag to Tovo, who ceremonially passed it back to group Command Sgt. Maj. James Herrell.

In addition to Jones, notable persons in attendance at the change of command included Maj. Gen. Thomas R. Csrnko, commander of Special Operations Command Europe, Mayor Lionel Rivera of Colorado Springs, and 7th Infantry Division and Fort Carson commander Maj. Gen. Robert W. Mixon Jr.

During his remarks at the ceremony, Tovo noted the Group’s many accomplishments in support of the Global War on Terrorism and since his time as a battalion commander.

“Four years ago, I stood on this same spot after receiving the 3rd Battalion colors,” Tovo said. “I told (the battalion) I had no idea what challenges laid ahead of us, but that by working together as a team, we would accomplish any mission. Two months later, our nation was attacked by extremists that continue to threaten the very nature of our society and our lives.”

“10th Group’s role began almost immediately,” he said.

Tovo described how the 10th SFG had supported the 5th Special Forces Group in Afghanistan during the early days of Operation Enduring Freedom, assisted in countless smaller engagements in lesser-publicized locations around the world, and most recently, led coalition special operations efforts in Iraq.

Repass described during his remarks how the group had conducted special operations throughout Iraq, fighting bravely in locations including Fallujah, Tikrit, Najaf, Samarra, Karbala and Al-Kut.

“Before you stand Soldiers who have earned seven Silver Stars, with two more recently nominated for gallantry in combat before the enemy,” Repass said. “There are nearly 1,000 Bronze Stars, with over 50 valorous devices. 10th Group Soldiers have earned 56 Purple Hearts in the past 29 months. This is an organization where uncommon valor, sacrifice and duty are common virtues. They inspired me daily with their actions.”

Repass reminded the audience that the heroic efforts of his Soldiers had included two who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq.

“Sadly, we lost two Soldiers in 2004, and their passing cannot go without mention on this day. Master Sergeants Kelly Hornbeck and Rich Ferguson were among the very best of our NCO Corps. (They are) two Soldiers whose presence is both missed and felt today.”

Throughout the ceremony, the many personal sacrifices of the leaders and Soldiers of 10th Group were made clear. In a poignant moment, Repass thanked his family for their support during his many months in combat.

“I’m sorry I haven’t been around to be a part of your world very much, but duty has called,” Repass said.

Tovo also thanked his family, friends and colleagues in attendance for their support to him throughout his career, but he made it clear that what he needed most now was the support of the men and women now under his command.

“You have endured months of separation from loved ones, risked your lives under the harshest of conditions and suffered the painful loss of comrades,” he said. “From combat operations in Iraq to advisory and assistance missions in Africa and elsewhere, your nation needs your experience, your mature judgment and your continued service.”

“I would like nothing better than to be able to stand here today and tell you that the need of further sacrifice is not needed, but we all know that is not the case,” Tovo continued. “The Soldiers of 10th Group represent literally tens of thousands of years of irreplaceable military experience. The nature of this global conflict is such that a large portion of the war effort falls upon the Army, and in particular on the Special Forces.”

At the conclusion of his remarks, Tovo reminded his Soldiers, many of whom were departing soon on leave, to use their personal time wisely, as the group will most likely be called upon again in the near future to support combat operations in the Global War on Terrorism.

“I encourage you to use that time to rest, reforge ties with your family and loved ones and recommit yourself to serving this unit and defending our country.”

Tovo’s previous assignments include a detachment, company and battalion commander at the 10th SFG, as well as stints as a plans and operations officer at the U.S. Special Operations Command and the Joint Headquarters Center (NATO). He is a veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, noncombatant evacuation operations in Sierra Leone, Operation Joint Guard in Bosnia and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Tovo is a 1983 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and also holds master’s degrees from the U.S. Army War College and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

Repass’s next assignment will be with U.S. Army Europe, based in Germany.

The 10th SFG, formed in 1952, is the Army’s original and most historic Special Forces unit. The group has called Fort Carson home since 1994 and has its headquarters and two battalions here and one battalion forward-stationed at Panzer Kaserne, Germany.

- usasoc-

Razor
07-20-2005, 17:55
"Hundreds of Green Berets and support Soldiers from the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) assembled in formation at Manhart Field here July 22 to honor two veteran Special Forces officers during the group’s change of command ceremony."

See, 10SFG is so high speed, they can even do things in the future! :D

Ambush Master
07-20-2005, 18:09
"Hundreds of Green Berets and support Soldiers from the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) assembled in formation at Manhart Field here July 22 to honor two veteran Special Forces officers during the group’s change of command ceremony."

See, 10SFG is so high speed, they can even do things in the future! :D

What did they do, borrow Harsey's DeLorean ??? :D :munchin

Razor
07-20-2005, 22:00
Where do you think he got the blueprints? :D

lksteve
07-20-2005, 22:13
See, 10SFG is so high speed, they can even do things in the future! explain the horses...

Firebeef
10-09-2005, 15:50
It's been a busy summer, so I haven't been on here much. I was just goin thru the old 10th GP stuff, and saw the article for the good COL's c-of-c. While active, I was never particularly fond of them kind of things, but I would have gone to COL Repass's change of command.

If you've ever been to a 10th Group organizational week ball in the last few years, you'll notice that trophy's and punch bowls and solches kram are placed on a 3 leveled platform, which resembles the stand where Olympic athletes are awarded their medals. If you ever get the chance to talk to COL Repass, ask him about how that particular stand was "acquired" and if Zetra stadium rings a bell.

Razor
10-09-2005, 17:26
Welcome home, bro!

Heretic
02-29-2008, 12:52
I missed this event. I left group in June. COL Tovo was my BN CMDR. I had the opportunity to speak with him this past OCT while I was visiting a friend in the sandbox. I can respect a man that remembers his soldiers. He saw me walk into my friends office and followed me in and shook my hand. I guess I am dusting the cob webs of this post.

SFS0AVN
03-01-2008, 11:30
explain the horses...

The horses are part of the Post Honor Guard.