By Staff Sgt. Tony Foster, Division West Public AffairsJune 30, 2015
FORT HOOD, Texas -- First Army Division West deactivated the 166th Aviation and 479th Field Artillery Brigades on Cameron Field here, June 24-25.
As part of the color-casing, the 166th and 479th leave the 120th Infantry Brigade as the lone Division West brigade on Fort Hood.
"Over the past five months, Division West has undergone great change," said Maj. Gen. Jeffrey N. Colt, commanding general for Division West. "We witnessed history once again as we deactivated the 166th Aviation Brigade.
The 479th Field Artillery Brigade deactivation is our next to last major organization change. It solidifies the new foundation of Division West's Bold Shift," added Colt.
With Division West down to four brigades, it continues on with its lead focus by providing more in depth and comprehensive training support to the Army National Guard and Reserve components.
"We're re-shaping," said Colt. "The purpose of that is to provide more observer coach/trainers at a lower level, battalion level and below, that will allow us to generate more readiness at that level."
In both ceremonies, Colt spoke about each brigade's proud history and lineage. He also praised the leadership of the "GreyWings" and "Strike Hard" brigades on their units training records and stellar transitions during Bold Shift.
"Change is often hard and success is rarely guaranteed, but great leaders translate concepts into action," said Colt.
Each commander shares Colt's commitment to Department of the Army directives as well as his view that the mission must go on.
"Under the transformation of First Army and my brigade, we've reallocated units and drawn down in certain areas," said Col. Christopher E. Albus, former 166th commander. "Understanding the importance that this unit had in the training, advising, assisting and validating of Reserve component aviation forces, we'll still remain a battalion which will continue doing that same mission here at Fort Hood."
"This has been unquestionably the best team that I have ever had the privilege of serving with," said Col. John W. Leffers, former 479th commander. "I have little doubt that one day our Nation will reconstitute the brigade headquarters to active duty service to once again answer our Nation's call."
Colt went on to comment about the path ahead and how confident he is that those who remain, remain mission first.
"I know all of you will continue to place the mission first and needs of the Nation before all else," said Colt.
"This is an important step. These have been historic moments for Division West. The service, sacrifices and contributions that everybody has made along the way, will live on in the 120th," he added. "We've got a great mission to do, and we're just the unit ready to do it."
First Army will refocus its capabilities to advise, assist, and train Reserve component units during pre-mobilization all while improving and maintaining its ability to support RC unit readiness, maintain the necessary structure and know-how to support unit mobilization and post-mobilization training, and ensure First Army remains qualified in accordance with the 1993 National Defense Authorization Act.