<b> FORT STEWART, Ga.</b> - The Spartan Brigade marked the beginning of their fourth deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom by casing their brigade colors in a ceremony held on Cottrell Field, Oct. 23.

The Spartans will deploy to Iraq with the distinction of being the first BCT-A Brigade with a role of advising and assisting the Iraqi Security Forces under the Security Forces Agreement.

"We'll still be taking action, but our main focus will be to help the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi Police become more proficient so that they can act as the true sovereign nation that they are," Col. Sexton said.

The casing ceremony featured an inspection of troops by the Brigade Commander Col. Charles E. A. Sexton, and a pass and review by each of the battalions: 1/64th Armor, 1/30th Infantry, 1/9th Field Artillery, 3/7th Calvary, 26th Brigade Support Battalion, 2-3 Brigade Troops Battalion, and Headquarters and Headquarters Company.

Colonel Sexton applauded the Families of those deploying for their support in the months leading up to the ceremony and for their continued support in the months to come.

He assured them their Soldiers were ready and more than capable to perform their duties in while in Iraq.

"This is the beginning of the deployment," Col. Sexton said. "The faster we get it over with, the faster we get home to our Families in coastal Georgia."

Families and loved ones of the deploying Soldiers showed their support by filling bleachers and the reviewing stand during the ceremony.

As the pass and review began, Family Members flocked to the reviewing line to catch a glimpse of their special Soldier as they passed by.

Kerry Holt, a spouse from HHC Brigade, said that she was proud of what her husband and the Soldiers of the Spartan Brigade were doing in service to our nation.

"I'm not looking at this as a deployment," Holt said. "I'm looking at it as a way to make history, and that we're a part of 3rd ID. It makes me proud that my husband is doing something to protect myself and our son."

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