By Maj. Jennifer ButlerJune 14, 2013
Fort Huachuca, AZ. - The 11th Signal Brigade held a change of command and casing of colors ceremony on June 7 on Brown Parade Field. Not only did the unit change commanders, but they formally bid farewell to the installation they've called "home" for nearly 50 years.
Col. Patrick Dedham relinquished command of the brigade to Col. James Parks III. Brig. Gen. Clark LeMasters, Jr., commander, 13th Sustainment Command, presided over the ceremony. The unit cased their colors for the last time on Fort Huachuca, and will unfurl them June 26 at Fort Hood, Texas.
The "Desert Thunderbirds" arrived on post Dec. 8, 1966. Then, as now, the Soldiers stood ready for inspection. Dedham and Parks inspected the troops signaling the arrival of one commander and the departure of the other. Dedham will be attending the National War College in Washington, D.C., and Parks' last assignment was as the director of the Army Data Center.
LeMasters said, "Today, we will also witness the first step to fruition of another one of your plans [Col. Dedham] the relocation of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 11th Signal Brigade, to Fort Hood, Texas, in order to better align mission support to III Corps."
LeMasters thanked Dedham for being a visionary leader whose technical expertise and personal drive provided the momentum and focus for the 11th Sig. Bde. He challenged Parks to stay focused on training and prepare his Soldiers and units to be ready when called.
"To be the commander of this brigade during these last two-plus years has been an incredible opportunity and privilege. Seeing what America's sons and daughters can accomplish has been truly amazing and inspiring," said Dedham. He thanked his Family for their support before departing.
Parks stood and looked out at the Soldiers on Brown Parade Field and said, "I am humbled and honored to stand alongside the best Signal Brigade in our Army."
He thanked God for bringing him this far, his Family for their enduring support, and LeMasters for officiating the ceremony. "I would also like to thank Fort Huachuca and Sierra Vista for [nearly] 50 years of unparalleled commitment to our Soldiers. This will always be home," Parks said.