101st Airborne Division to case colors, ready for Afghanistan deployment
January 23, 2013
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (Jan. 23, 2013) -- The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) will hold its colors-casing ceremony Friday, to mark its upcoming deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
During the ceremony, Maj. Gen. James C. McConville, 101st commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Alonzo J. Smith, division command sergeant major, will case the division flag and battle streamers, which symbolizes the beginning of the unit's movement to Afghanistan.
Approximately 600 Soldiers from the 101st will deploy in the coming weeks to head NATO's International Security Assistance Force Regional-Command East, which is headquartered at Bagram Airfield.
Throughout the division's storied 70-year history, the colors have been cased every time the headquarters element has deployed in support of any major operations.
This ceremony will signify the beginning of the command's latest "Rendezvous with Destiny," which will be the third time since 2008 the division has commanded RC-East. Once the flag is cased, it will remain so until a transfer-of-authority ceremony is conducted at Bagram Airfield with the outgoing unit, the 1st Infantry Division from Fort Riley, Kan.
During the year-long deployment, the "Screaming Eagles" will work alongside their counterparts within the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to develop and improve the Afghan National Security Forces so that they may provide security to the local populace.
The division headquarters will join other units from the 101st currently deployed to Afghanistan. They include the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade and elements of the 101st Sustainment Brigade.