PETERSON AFB, Colo. - The 1st Space Brigade recently hosted a farewell ceremony at the Peterson Air Force Base theater for 16 Soldiers who will deploy into U.S. Central Command theater of operations to support overseas contingency operations.

These Soldiers make up Commercial Imagery Team (CIT) 5 from 117th Space Battalion, Colorado Army National Guard; Army Space Support Team 5 from 1st Space Battalion; and Army Space Coordination Element (ASCE) 5 from 1st Space Brigade.

According to officials 57 units have had successful rotations in theater of operations since the brigade started deployments. These three teams will become the 58th, 59th, and 60th. "Your loved ones are well trained, resourced, and well equipped to succeed in their mission," said Col. Eric P. Henderson, commander, 1st Space Brigade, to those in attendance.

The mission of these deployed units is to provide space-based products and services to combatants, new republics/ governments, and international agencies. Each commander came forth to justify their respective team and its relevance.

"A commercial imagery team is a unique entity made up of seven Soldiers," said Lt. Col. Jesse Morehouse, commander of the 117th Space Battalion. "They are the only Soldiers in the entire theater of war that do what they do. They have got to figure out how to do their best supporting the Soldiers, our coalition partners, countries, and other Space professionals out there in theater. Our commercial imagery teams having been doing a great job of that, and I expect you all will raise the bar higher before you are done in theater."

"CIT 5 I know the next nine months will not be easy, but I appreciate all the sacrifices that you are making. We look forward to seeing you back here safe and sound," said Lt. Col. J. Dave Price, commander, 1st Space Battalion. "I'm excited about ARSST 5. They are going to make a significant difference and they are definitely ready to go. I would like to say that if you asked us to go anywhere else in the world to operate at the national level we are ready and we are anxious to get started. I would like to thank the many families who are here to support the departure of loved ones. I want to remind you that we are ready and willing to support you in anything that you need in your spouse's absence."

Finally, Henderson took to the stage to talk about ASCE 5.

"One of the interesting things about the ASCE is that they are the integrators of space products. They are the ground commander's link to the Air Force and the combined air operations center," he said. "They work a lot of long, long, hours.

"What is unique about the ASCE is they don't exist on paper. However, it does in doctrine, but in order for us to support this task someone has to pick up the slack," Henderson said. "And why do we do it' Because as we will see in a couple of minutes during The Army Song - 'Proud of all we have done, Fighting till the battle's won.'"

It is a tradition that the brigade or battalion commander presents the senior Soldier on each deploying team with a mission coin. This coin is entrusted to the team leader for safe keeping throughout the operation. Upon safe return at the end of the deployment the coin is then placed on a plaque and displayed in the brigade or battalion Headquarters. Daniele Miller from the Colorado National Guard Family Program also presented the Colorado Guardsmen of CIT 5 with a Colorado state flag.

Page last updated Wed April 6th, 2011 at 18:21