WIESBADEN, Germany - The 66th Military Intelligence Brigade welcomed one of its alumni back into its ranks as its new commander in a ceremony June 27.

Col. David Pendall succeeded Col. Kenneth Rector, who will go on to serve as chief of staff for Army Cyber Command at Fort Belvoir, Va. Pendall once served as chief of staff for reconnaissance operations center 1 in the brigade's 24th MI Battalion when it was stationed in Heidelberg. This time he arrived to the brigade from a position as the U.S. Army intelligence liaison to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory.

Pendall has served a total of eight years in Germany, beginning with an assignment as a lieutenant at Fulda Gap during the Cold War. He pointed to the Army's relationship with Germany as the basis for its ability to operate in Europe.

"It was true during the Cold War and it's true today as we engage in Afghanistan and other areas," he said. "We will continue to provide tailored teams as operational intelligence oversight for Europe …?We are in Germany, but we're global in nature," he added, with 65 Soldiers deployed in 13 different countries.

Before his position at MIT, Pendall served as the senior intelligence officer for Regional Command-East in Afghanistan, concurrently serving as the G2 of the 1st Cavalry Division from 2010 to 2012.

Maj. Gen. George Franz, commander of Intelligence and Security Command, was the keynote speaker. He welcomed Pendall and commended Rector for "guiding the brigade to unprecedented success."

"The 66th and INSCOM are indebted to your loyalty," he said. "Dagger Brigade always answers the sound of the guns. You are an indispensable asset to the theater commanders. You're saving lives every day."

Rector commended the brigade's 480 Soldiers for their flexibility and perseverance in the face of challenges.

"The Army is an outdoor sport," he said in closing. "Be proud of who you are, what you do and who you do it with."

The brigade will celebrate its 70th anniversary of activation July 1. It has served as the backbone of U.S. Army Europe's intelligence corps since 1944. Its mission is conducting multi-discipline intelligence operations and producing predictive all-source intelligence in support of U.S. Army Europe, theater and national commanders in order to facilitate the gaining and maintaining of information dominance, officials said.