4th IBCT cases colors, heads to Iraq
Colonel Lou Lartigue, 4th IBCT commander and Command Sergeant Major Joseph Altman, brigade senior enlisted advisor, case the unit Colors during a formal farewell ceremony held at Fort Stewart's Cottrell Field, June 25.

<b> FORT STEWART, Ga. </b>- A traditional ceremony marked the final step of deployment preparation for Soldiers assigned to the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team as the brigade and battalion's colors were cased on Fort Stewart's Cottrell Field, June 25.

The casing ceremony formerly closed another chapter for the 4th IBCT who will unfurl the unit colors on Iraqi soil next month.

The Vanguard Brigade joins the 3rd Infantry Division on another deployment to Iraq, but this formation of more than 3,000 Soldiers will experience a combat operation unlike any before.

"Although 50 percent of this team has deployed on a previous rotation, this is the last one for Operation Iraqi Freedom and the first one for Operation New Dawn, marking our nation's new continued success in transitioning a free and new Iraq to complete Iraqi control," said Col. Lou Lartigue, brigade commander, adding that his team will assume an advise and assist role in theater.

"The Iraqi army and police are already in the lead, so we will assist them through the Stability Transition Teams, our Infantry and other combat power, to increase their capacity to do this all on their own."

The brigade transitioned from a heavy armored unit to light infantry in September 2009, and have since trained up for this unique mission through a series of field exercises, to include combat validation at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif.

"We are ready," Col. Lartigue said. "I can say with confidence we are ready based on all this team has done in preparation for combat. We not only converted our organization to light infantry, but converted our mindset to a leaner, capable force uniquely qualified to assist our Iraqi partners.

"This deployment is not just another turn, it's our turn. It's our point in time to band together with our teammates and move out on this important mission."

The first 150 Soldiers departed for Iraq Saturday morning, and the rest of the brigade will follow throughout the month of July. The brigade will deploy for approximately 12 months.

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