SOUTHWEST ASIA (Oct. 17, 2013) -- A transfer of authority ceremony took place in early October within the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility in Southwest Asia.

The 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade took over air defense responsibilities from the 69th ADA Brigade Headquarters that will return to Fort Hood, Texas.

To signify the transfer, the outgoing brigade command team cased its colors until brigade personnel return to their home station. In their place, 31st ADA Brigade leaders uncased their colors signifying the assumption of the ADA mission.

The guest speaker for the ceremony was Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard, CENTCOM deputy commanding officer. Pittard focused on the importance of teamwork to accomplish the mission. He praised outgoing commander Col. Brian Gibson for his outstanding job as the commander of Task Force Lighting. The general then welcomed and encouraged incoming commander Col. Michael Morrissey.

"First, we did not get to this point alone, our unit benefitted from teamwork which began a year ago as we leaned heavily on the forward deployed brigade, pulling from their experience, culminating in the incredible professionalism we received from 69th," said Morrissey. "Rest assured, the 31st Brigade is committed to sustaining the momentum with a crystal clear focus on war fighting, training, equipment and Soldier readiness. We understand there is no room for slack, and equally important, we are committed to building our coalition partnership. A relationship built on shared purpose, respect, and pride."

Gibson welcomed the command team of 31st ADA to the "greatest mission, the greatest partners and the greatest joint-service members a unit could ask for."

The brigade headquarters is deployed as the command and control element for Patriot units operating within the area of responsibility that provide air defense of host nation assets.