By Staff Sgt. Mark A. Moore IIFebruary 23, 2016
The casing ceremony signified the departure of the Catamount command team from Fort Drum and marked their final flight deploying in support of Operation Resolute Support in Afghanistan.
Lt. Col. Jonathan M. Chung, commander, explained that it takes leaders who understand how to build multifaceted, teams-of-teams, to successfully prepare Soldiers and their Families to rapidly deploy.
"So it's leaders preparing their Soldiers to the highest level of readiness," he said. "It's preparing their Families to ensure they are resilient and have the resources they can leverage while they are back here, and at the same time it takes leaders who demonstrate organizational calm."
Chung also noted their training cycle at Fort Drum to include many platoon live fire drills, complemented the mission readiness exercise conducted during their rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, La. Both training events were integral to preparing the unit for this mission.
Brigadier General Paul Bontrager, acting senior commander, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) and Fort Drum, N.Y., who attended the ceremony, commented on the units place in history.
"This is your time in history," he stated. "Your grandkids, grandkids are going to be reading about these wars in history books and you're going to be there. You're the ones who went forward, earned your citizenship, and gave back to your country."
Bontrager ended his remarks by reminding them that each deployment is different and should be treated as such.
"Don't take your previous experience and think you have got it all figured out on this one, I don't care if you've deployed to combat 10 times, treat this as a completely different deployment," he stated.
The 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment "Catamounts", are scheduled for a nine month deployment that focuses on training, advising, and assisting their Afghan counterparts.