New home
The move of the 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade from Fort Bliss, Texas, to Fort Sill, Okla., was finalized June 10. The brigade, which uncased its colors here one year ago, will get a new commander June 24 at 9 a.m. during a change of command ceremony at Polo Field. The ADA "First to Fire" statue was erected outside the headquarters June 21.

FORT SILL, Okla.--Two years ago, there were no 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade Soldiers assigned to Fort Sill. Since then about 1,700 Soldiers, civilians and their families have moved here not only from Fort Bliss, Texas, but Armywide when the brigade relocated to the U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence.

When the 6th ADA gets a new commander today, it will be another chapter in the history of the unit that uncased it colors at Fort Sill almost a year ago to the day.

Outgoing 6th ADA commander, Col. Don Fryc reflected back on the move.

"It feels great primarily because it's a great success story for the Army," said Fryc, who will become the deputy commander, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command at Fort Bliss. "We've completed the move a full 15 months ahead of the Army-directed timeline."

Fryc attributed the successful, timely move here to Team Sill as well as leaders at Fort Bliss.
"Executing something this enormous we all have have something to be proud out," Fryc said.
The 6th ADA and its three battalions train Soldiers to become air defenders through its U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery School, or USAADASCH. The battalions teach the Advanced Infantry Training courses, warrant officer and officer courses.

The brigade's 2nd Battalion, 6th ADA trains Soldiers in the Sentinel radar and Stinger/Avenger weapons systems, as well as Counter Rocket, Artillery and Mortar, or C-RAM. Its 3rd-6th ADA trains enlisted Soldiers and officers in the Patriot weapons system.

And, the 1st-56th ADA performs officer training including the Captains' Career Course and Basic Officer Leadership Course. It also teaches graduate-level ADA courses in areas such as precommand, joint air missile defense and fires control. "It runs the gamut for all those things you would need as a leader from your introduction as a lieutenant all the way up to an O-6 getting ready to take brigade command," said Fryc, who took command of the brigade in June 2008.

In all, 6th ADA staff members teach 18 different courses. Currently there are 48 courses in session, with 1,000 students, Fryc said.

All the instructors, equipment and facilities are in place, but there still needs to be validation, Fryc said. "In the next couple months, when we see the peak load of students and getting us up to the full breadth of what we instruct that will be totality validation," he said.

It was December 2005, when Congress, through the Base Realignment and Closure Committee, or BRAC, directed the Army to move the 6th ADA Brigade to Fort Sill. Over the next four years, leaders, planners, administrators, construction crews, employees and Soldiers and their families got busy to make the move happen.

What was the most challenging part of the move'

"Split-based operations," said Fryc, emphatically, "trying to keep the machine running and producing the same high-quality training, ready-to-fight Soldiers in both locations (Bliss, Sill) simultaneously ... coupled with having to do the move."

And, Fryc characterized the move of the 6th ADA Soldiers, employees and families as having gone "very well."

The move of the 6th ADA was finalized June 10, when Fryc gave an outbrief to Maj. Gen. Howard Bromberg, Fort Bliss commanding general.

Fryc said that he gave the general a finalization report of all that had been achieved and let him know there were no outstanding issues that needed to be resolved.

"It was a very quick and to the point message, and Fort Bliss has a lot to be proud of with their help," he said.

Page last updated Thu June 24th, 2010 at 12:10