Col. Bill Burleson, left, commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team, and Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Defreese unfurl the brigade colors Wednesday, signifying the re-establishment of command at Fort Drum after redeploying from Afghanistan.

FORT DRUM, NY -- The 10th Mountain Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team uncased its colors March 30, formally signifying the re-establishment of command at Fort Drum following its deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

During the last 15 months, the "Warrior" Brigade operated throughout Afghanistan in more than 40 locations.

"Collectively, Soldiers of the BCT earned 60 valor awards, two earning our nation's third-highest award for valor - the Silver Star," said Col. Bill Burleson, 1st BCT commander. "Over 138 warriors were wounded, to include seven who were wounded twice but kept coming back to join their teams, squads and platoons.

"And we will never forget those who gave their lives in the service of our nation - teammates Theinert, Anderson, Cabacoy, Wood, Edgerton, Ainsworth, Harton, Kirspsel, Harris, Sadell, Paranzino, Harton and Wade," he added.

The deployment began in mid-January 2010, with 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment rapidly deploying after President Barack Obama's announcement of the surge of troops in Afghanistan. Headquartered in Kabul, "Triple Deuce" was tasked with training soldiers of the Afghan National Army in four of the International Security Assistance Force regional commands.

The remainder of 1st BCT deployed in the following months and supported ISAF in Regional Command - North under command of the German BAfA1/4ndeswehr.

Regional Command - North was divided into three sections with 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment in the eastern province of Kunduz, and 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment in the western province of Faryab. The 1st BCT headquarters, 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion and 10th Brigade Support Battalion were located in the central province of Balkh on the outskirts of the ancient city of Mazar-e-Sharif.

The brigade's 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, although still officially assigned to 1st BCT, supported operations in Regional Command - South.

Units of the brigade operating throughout Afghanistan served as partners with members of the Afghan Uniformed Police, Afghan National Border Police and the ANA. This partnership helped to increase the capability of the Afghan National Security Forces. In addition to increased security, Soldiers of the brigade brought humanitarian assistance to local Afghan communities.

Soldiers of 1st BCT were persistent in their hunt for the enemy and relentless in their efforts to assist the people of Afghanistan, the Afghan government and the ANSF, regardless of the bitter cold of winter or the stifling heat of summer.

Whether fighting insurgents, building schools, distributing humanitarian aid or meeting with local leaders, Warrior Brigade Soldiers distinguished themselves as a capable force ready to take on any mission.

"With this mission complete," Burleson said, "it is now important to focus on reintegrating with our Families and the community, receive and account for our equipment, and begin to reset it for the next mission."

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