• Lt. Col. Paul Craft (left) and Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Riley unfurl the 86th Expeditionary Signal Battalion's colors during Tuesday's uncasing ceremony.

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    Lt. Col. Paul Craft (left) and Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Riley unfurl the 86th Expeditionary Signal Battalion's colors during Tuesday's uncasing ceremony.

  • Soldiers from the 86th Expeditionary Signal Battalion stand in formation as the uncasing ceremony begins.

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    Soldiers from the 86th Expeditionary Signal Battalion stand in formation as the uncasing ceremony begins.

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. -- The 86th Expeditionary Signal Battalion officially marked its return from a yearlong deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom by uncasing its colors in a ceremony on Fort Huachuca's Brown Parade Field, Tuesday. The uncasing ceremony signifies the completion of the unit's overseas mission and their return to garrison operations.

The 86th ESB was established on Fort Bragg, N.C., in March 1966, as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 86th Signal Battalion. Just shy of six months later, it deployed to Vietnam, where it stayed until inactivation in 1971. The battalion re-activated on Fort Huachuca six years later, and has deployed as a unit in support of various operations seven times since then.

Tuesday's uncasing ceremony was the last one the 86th ESB will perform on Fort Huachuca. The battalion is scheduled to case its colors one last time here in June as the unit prepares for a move to its new home at Fort Bliss, Texas, with another uncasing ceremony set for July 16. The 86th ESB will then have 90 days to rebuild and become fully operational for its new role in the United States Northern Command's Homeland Defense/Homeland Security mission.

Page last updated Wed April 13th, 2011 at 18:30