CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - After months of planning, training, maintaining, equipping and manning, the much-anticipated deployment of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team "Greywolf," 1st Cavalry Division based out of Fort Hood, Texas is underway.
The Greywolf command team, Col. John Woodward and Command Sgt. Maj. Alfred Ronneburg, uncased the brigade colors, while subsequently the command team of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat "Bulldogs," 1st Armored Division Col. Robert E. Lee Magee and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Williamson, cased their brigade colors in a transfer of authority ceremony at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, March 12.
"The Greywolf Brigade has been looking forward to this mission for some time now," Woodward said.
Along with the Soldiers and leaders from both brigades, also in attendance were Maj. Gen. John Thomson, 1st Cavalry Division commanding general; Maj. Gen. Blake Ortner, commanding general of the 29th Infantry Division; Brig. Gen. John Epperly, deputy commanding general of the 29th Infantry Division; and Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Smith, senior enlisted advisor of the 29th Infantry Division.
Serving as the presiding officer of the ceremony, Ortner addressed the value of the armored brigade combat team to the mission in theater.
"There is no organization more lethal and versatile than the armored brigade combat team. Able to deal with any threat anywhere on the battlefield, you are exactly what is needed," he said.
The uncasing of the Greywolf colors signifies the brigade's assumption of the partnership mission.
Mutual participation in both training and operations goes a long toward maintaining relationships with friends and allies. Ortner spoke to the importance of those relationships and of Greywolf's mission here.
"We will depend on them, as we should. You will be a big part in making sure we have dependable, partners, friends and allies to America and all our coalition partners."
Conversely, the casing of the Bulldog Brigade colors signifies the completion of the brigade's mission here, just ahead of their return home to the friends and families they left behind.
"The Soldiers of this brigade have made a difference here in theater not through massive change, but brick by brick," Magee said. "We continue to build relationships, capacity and capability with the Kuwait, the Emiratis, the Jordanians, the Omanis, the Saudis, and the Egyptians."
The last nine months for the Bulldog Brigade have consisted of operations and bilateral and multilateral exercises across more than 13 countries in the region.
"I'm extremely proud of the Soldiers of the Bulldog Brigade and everything they've accomplished," Magee said. "Change is a good thing."
On the heels of a successful decisive action rotation at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California, the Greywolf Brigade wasted no time ramping up to assume the mission here, and the trained and ready Soldiers have been arriving in theater for the last several weeks.
"Our Soldiers and leaders trained for nearly a year to execute this mission," Woodward said. "They are ready to serve this historic division and execute this very important and diverse mission. These Soldiers have hit the ground running, and I would have expected nothing less, so I can say with complete confidence that we are ready to assure our allies and deter any adversaries from negatively influencing this region."