• Soldiers from 615th Aviation Support “Cold Steel” Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, play in a volley ball tournament during a farewell party held for their sister unit, the 404th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, June 12 at Fort Hood, Texas. There was also live music and food for the enjoyment of the Soldiers. The Providers are headed to Iraq for a 15-month deployment.

    Soldiers from 615th Aviation Support “Cold...

    Soldiers from 615th Aviation Support “Cold Steel” Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, play in a volley ball tournament during a farewell party held for their sister unit, the 404th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Combat...

  • Edmond, Okla., native, Lt. Col. Dean Keck (left), commander of the 615th Aviation Support "Cold Steel" Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, along with Boulder, Colo., native Lt. Col. David George (center), commander of the 404th  Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, talk with Aurora, Ill. native Maj. Gen. Daniel Bolger (right), commander of the 1st Cav. Div. They gathered June 12 at Fort Hood, Texas for a farewell party for the Providers hosted by Cold steel. The 404th is headed to Iraq for a 15-month deployment. "We're very appreciative of the first-class send-off by our sister unit. This party really shows the teamwork and esprit de corps in the Army that transcends units," said George.

    Edmond, Okla., native, Lt. Col. Dean Keck...

    Edmond, Okla., native, Lt. Col. Dean Keck (left), commander of the 615th Aviation Support "Cold Steel" Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, along with Boulder, Colo., native Lt. Col. David George (center), commander of the 404th...

  • Local band, Lazy J and the Dirty Shuffle, play during a farewell party for the 404th  Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, June 12 at Fort Hood, Texas, hosted by their sister unit, the 615th Aviation Support "Cold Steel" Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. The band played throughout the festivities and kept Soldiers feet tapping.

    Local band, Lazy J and the Dirty Shuffle, play...

    Local band, Lazy J and the Dirty Shuffle, play during a farewell party for the 404th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, June 12 at Fort Hood, Texas, hosted by their sister unit, the 615th Aviation Support...

  • Soldiers from the 615th Aviation Support "Cold Steel" Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, and their sister unit, the 404th Brigade Support "Providers" Battalion, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, grab food while relaxing during a farewell party for the Providers, June 12 at the Cold Steel headquarters. "This was done to show support for our sister battalion since they're heading down range. This is one Army - we're all Soldiers and we need to support each other," said Edmond, Okla., native Lt. Col. Dean Keck, commander of Cold Steel.

    Soldiers from the 615th Aviation Support "Cold...

    Soldiers from the 615th Aviation Support "Cold Steel" Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, and their sister unit, the 404th Brigade Support "Providers" Battalion, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, grab food while...

  • Edmond, Okla., native Lt. Col. Dean Keck, commander of the 615th Aviation Support "Cold Steel" Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, talks to his troopers before the start of the farewell party for their sister unit, the 404th  Brigade Support "Providers" Battalion, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. Cold Steel hosted the Providers at their headquarters June 12.

    Edmond, Okla., native Lt. Col. Dean Keck...

    Edmond, Okla., native Lt. Col. Dean Keck, commander of the 615th Aviation Support "Cold Steel" Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, talks to his troopers before the start of the farewell party for their sister unit, the 404th...

FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers laughed, listened to music, played games and ate a hearty meal as they said goodbye to their brothers in arms, June 12.

The 615th Aviation Support "Cold Steel" Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, put together a large farewell party for the 404th Brigade Support "Providers" Battalion, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, scheduled to leave for Iraq by June 15.

Edmond, Okla., native Lt. Col. Dean Keck, commander of the Cold Steel Battalion, welcomed Boulder, Colo., native Lt. Col. David George, commander of the Providers, with open arms to the Cold Steel headquarters.

But these two men aren't strangers.

Keck and George attended flight school together around 1990, said Keck.

Both laughed and joked about who finished with higher marks.

Regardless of their history, the day was about their Soldiers. They made sure the troopers knew that they supported them even across unit boundaries, said Keck.

"This was done to show support for our sister battalion since they're heading down range. This is one Army - we're all Soldiers and we need to support each other," he said.

George was grateful for the send-off and agreed with his brother-in-arms.

"We're very appreciative of the first-class send-off by our sister unit. This party really shows the teamwork and esprit de corps in the Army that transcends units," said George.

Another notable visitor to the party was Maj. Gen. Daniel Bolger, commander of the 1st Cav. Div.

Bolger, who hails from Aurora, Ill., was there to say goodbye to the 404th and also help celebrate an early birthday for the Army as it turned 233 years old June 14.

"It's my honor to be here today with the Providers of the 4th Infantry Division and, of course, Cold Steel of the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division," he said.

Bolger reminded everyone about the significance of the Army's birthday and how it tied into the farewell party.

"It's no secret that our Army was born at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. If fact, our Army was born 13 months before we even had a country on the 14th of June, 1775," said Bolger.

"So we're an Army that was born in war and we're fighting a war right now," he said.

Bolger noted the importance of the aviation support units.

"Anybody who's been around Army aviation for a while knows that the ASB are the folks who make it all happen - and I certainly know that. We appreciate the hard work," said Bolger.

It was cake cutting time, not time to think about the future deployment - the Providers would have plenty of time to do that later.

For now the Providers can forget about the 15-month deployment for at least a day as they sit back and enjoy the company of their sister unit with some laughter and plenty of birthday cake.

Happy birthday Army. Farewell Providers.

Page last updated Tue June 17th, 2008 at 11:39