The Iron Brigade recently took a closer step toward its upcoming deployment to Iraq by ceremoniously saying goodbye.
The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division held its casing ceremony on March 3, at Manhart Field so that the Iron Brigade could bid farewell to the leaders, Soldiers, and Families of Fort Carson and Colorado Springs prior to deploying in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Mayor Lionel Rivera of Colorado Springs, other city government officials, Fort Carson leaders, and Families attended to witness the casing of the brigade colors by Col. James E. Rainey, commander, 3rd BCT, and Command Sgt. Maj. Miles S. Wilson, brigade command sergeant major, 3rd BCT.
The casing ceremony signified that 3rd BCT has completed all training and preparation, leaving nothing left to accomplish but the mission, said Staff Sgt. Michael Bellamy, assistant brigade aviation and operations noncommissioned officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Special Troops Battalion, 3rd BCT.
“This means that we are ready to roll out,” said Bellamy, who participated in the ceremony as part of the color guard.
Due to the symbolic casing of the colors, the ceremony was an emotional experience that brought a realization that the brigade is leaving very soon, said Lori DiGiambattista, wife of Lt. Col. John DiGiambattista , commander, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd BCT.
The 3rd BCT has been conducting its comprehensive training program for 13 months in preparation for its upcoming mission to southern Iraq. The brigade will serve as an advisory brigade for Iraqi Security Forces who are taking the lead in ensuring the future stability and safety of the Iraqi people.
“The United States Army has never deployed a better trained or better led brigade to Iraq,” said Maj. Gen. David G. Perkins, commanding general, 4th Inf. Div.
According to Perkins, the Iron Brigade will have a significant impact on Iraq’s future.
“The final fingerprint that the 3rd Brigade Combat Team puts on Iraq will be indelible and may well last for decades to come,” said Perkins.
The brigade has prepared for the upcoming deployment through major training events, such as Operation Iron Strike and a month-long rotation at the National Training Center, in order to be standing firm and ready for any adversity that it may face while in Iraq, said Rainey, during his ceremony speech.
With the united support of Fort Carson, the Colorado Springs community, and Soldiers’ Families, the Iron Brigade will leave for Iraq with a strong foundation.
“As we case our colors today for the brigade's fourth deployment to Iraq, we all want you to know one thing,” said Rainey. “The men and women you see standing before you and the 4,000 Soldiers of the Iron Brigade that they represent are banded, equipped, and trained to accomplish our mission.”
As posted on Facebook. Photos included at the link.
I work for a battalion in 3rd brigade. Guess it's about to get pretty quiet...