PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Soldiers from 4th Brigade Combat Team "Highlanders", 1st Armored Division, participated in a Casing of the Colors ceremony at Forward Operating Base Lightning, April 21.

The ceremony is a symbolic gesture as the brigade prepares to redeploy home after a nine-month deployment advising the Afghan National Army's 203rd Corps.

"I could not be more proud of our team," said U.S. Army Col. Terry Cook, brigade commander. "The 203rd Corps is really setting the standard and providing an opportunity for the people here to have a better life."

The soldiers from Higlander Brigade have worked shoulder to shoulder with their Afghan counterparts, advising at all levels of the 203rd Corps' command.

"We can see that we have really made an impact," said Sgt. 1st Class Sheila White, a basing and contracting adviser,1st BCT, 4th Armd. Div. "We've definitely made some changes that will positively affect the region."

The 203rd Corps is responsible for all ANA assets and operations in seven of the country's eastern provinces.

Afghanistan will survive as a nation because of the work we've done here with the 203rd Corps, said Cook during the ceremony.

"If they can continue to stand strong, this country's going to make it," he said.