By 1st Lt. Danni SanfordNovember 3, 2014
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- The 5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery, 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade, completed their transfer of authority or TOA with the 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery, 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, here on October 24th.
5-5 ADA is tasked with protecting U.S. and Coalition Forces on Bagram Airfield by destroying indirect fire threats from the enemy. 5-5 ADA is the Army's first Indirect Fire Protection Capability or IFPC battalion, also known as Counter-Rocket, Artillery and Mortar or C-RAM. The Land-based Phalanx Weapon System or LPWS is the unit's trademark piece of equipment. Developed from the Navy's Close-in Weapon System the LPWS is capable of intercepting incoming rockets and mortars aimed at friendly assets. The battalion is also responsible for the monitoring and management of friendly airspace over central Afghanistan using the Sentinel Radar.
Upon arrival, the Soldiers and Leaders of 5-5 ADA immediately started training with their 2-44 ADA counterparts in order to seamlessly transition into the job of protecting the Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines, Coalition and Allied Forces here. This transition culminated with the transfer of authority ceremony.
Brig. Gen. Mark J. O'Neil, deputy commanding general of operations for 10th Mountain Division, was the key note speaker at the ceremony and gave thanks to both the outgoing and incoming battalions. He stressed the importance of the counter-rocket, artillery and mortar role, especially as U.S. Forces prepare to transfer missions in Afghanistan at the beginning of 2015.
As part of the ceremony, the colors of 2-44 ADA were furled and cased, while the 5-5 ADA colors were unfurled, symbolically signifying the transfer of authority.
5-5 ADA takes over during the transition of Operation Enduring Freedom's final phase as the mission changes and Afghanistan enters into Operation Resolute Support.