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News | May 7, 2021

SATMO commander relinquishes command during May ceremony

By Richard Bumgardner and Adriane Elliot

Col. Scott J. Malone, commander of Army Security Assistance Training Management Organization, relinquished command to SATMO's executive officer, Lt. Col. Alex Duran, on May 7.

Brig. Gen. Douglas Lowrey, commanding general of Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC), officiated the relinquishment of command ceremony, and passed the unit colors to Duran, until Malone’s replacement, Col. Andrew Clark, arrives in August.

Malone, who is moving to another assignment, focused his remarks on the efforts of the SATMO team, which he called the SATMO family, and leadership of the SATMO senior enlisted advisor, Command Sgt. Maj. Brad Owens.

“If I could take Command Sgt. Maj. Owens, and this entire team with me anywhere I go, I would absolutely bring them with me,” Malone said. “This team accomplishes more with an incredibly small organization than division-sized elements all day long. We might be doing tactical level training but it absolutely has operational and strategic level impact.”

SATMO teams are currently globally deployed with over 30 teams in 19 countries and have plans and requirements in the next 2-3 years to deploy 63 training teams to 34 countries. 

“There is no other organization in the Army, other than Special Forces, that has that kind of depth, breath and global spread,” he said. “This is just an incredible organization and Command Sgt. Maj. Owens is absolutely at the head of that, leading it all the way. Myself and my deputy, Joel Milbern, we do our best to keep up with him.”

The partnership building that results from the SATMO mission is a critical component of U.S. foreign policy and one that was highlighted during U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to NATO Headquarters in March. 

“We’ll treat the efforts of our allies to develop greater capacity as an asset, not a threat.  Stronger allies make for stronger alliances.  And as the U.S. develops our capacities to address the threats I’ve outlined today, we’ll make sure they remain compatible with our alliances – and that they contribute to strengthening our allies’ security.  We’ll ask the same of our allies in return,” said Blinken. 

SATMO is the Army’s primary organization dedicated to meeting the challenges of overseas training management for the Army Security Assistance Enterprise. Last year alone, SATMO conducted more than 40 Security Assistance Team missions in over 20 countries supporting all Geographic Combatant Commands, and executed funds totaling more than $700 million."

“I think today’s ceremony was remarkable,” said Duran, the acting commander until Malone’s replacement arrives in August. “We got to recognize Command Sgt. Maj. Owens after 28 years of service, an amazing career, as well as a big farewell to Col. Malone,” Duran said. “We also welcome Command Sgt. Maj. Dow to mark a historic transition here at SATMO. Malone and Owens have taken SATMO to a level we needed to be, so personally and professionally it was phenomenal event.”

Owens described his tenure with SATMO as one of the most satisfying of his career, allowing him “an extensive ability to influence and shape the future of Soldiers, U.S. allies and the Army.”

In retirement, he said will continue to serve. Owens said he has worked nonstop to educate himself in the security assistance arena and hopes to find a job that will allow him to put that expertise to good use. 

As for Dow, security assistance is a new field for him, but one that is excited to study.

“In this new and challenging assignment I am looking forward to learning a great deal in security assistance and enabling our globally positioned teams with the resources they need to accomplish their critical mission,” he said.

While he works on learning this new mission, he said there’s one thing he already knows:

“SATMO is composed of world class professional Soldiers, DA Civilians and Contractors,” said Dow. “They are an absolutely impressive team of teams that exceeds expectations, and they are what makes this organization critically and strategically impactful in the current and future operating environment.”