FORT HOOD, Texas - After leading his Soldiers during a year-long deployment in Iraq, the commander of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division "Long Knives" relinquished responsibility of his unit Aug. 6, to the brigade's newest commander.

Col. Philip Battaglia delivered an emotional speech to approximately 1,000 family, friends and Soldiers during his joint, change-of-command and uncasing ceremony at Cooper Field in front of the 1st Cav. Div. Headquarters.

"As the brigade commander for the past two years, I have been extremely fortunate to have what I call the 'Dream Team' working for me," Battaglia said. "The commanders, leaders, NCOs and troopers you see here today are key members of that team, and I must publicly recognize them for they are the ones who truly make this brigade so successful."

Battaglia's replacement, Col. Brian Winski, comes to the unit from Fort Campbell, Ky., where he served as the chief of Joint Task Force 101st Airborne Division during a deployment to Afghanistan.

"I am incredibly honored to be a part of the 'First Team' and most importantly the Long Knife Brigade," Winski said. "As new comers, my family and I are very excited about serving at the 'Great Place' and being part of the community. To the troopers of the Long Knife Brigade, congratulations to each and every one of you and welcome home."

Four more of the brigade's battalions also changed commanders completing the unit's changes of command this summer.

Lt. Col. Daryle Hernandez, the outgoing commander of 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment changed commands with Lt. Col. John M. Cushing; Lt. Col. Mark Simerly, 27th Brigade Support Battalion, changed with Lt. Col. William Gilbraith; Lt. Col. Tim Norton, 4th Special Troops Battalion, changed with Lt. Col. Eric Land; and Lt. Col. Tim Daugherty, 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, changed commands with Lt. Col. Robert Magee.

Lt. Col. Edward Bohnemann, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, and Lt. Col Scott Kendrick, 2nd Battalion 12th Cavalry Regiment previously changed commands with Lt. Col. Andy Boston and Lt. Col Joseph Holland, respectively, July 23.

The Long Knife Brigade returned to Fort Hood in June after serving in the tri-province region of southern Iraq.

The brigade's six battalions uncased their unit colors during the ceremony to signify their return to garrison operations.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16