OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea - Col. Richard W. Wright assumed command of the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade from Col. Mark A. Holler during a change of command ceremony hosted by Lt. Gen. Thomas Vandal, Eighth Army commanding general, June 9 at Osan Air Base, South Korea.
The 35th ADA BDE is the only forward stationed air defense artillery brigade in the U.S. Army, and is responsible for providing aerial surveillance and ballistic missile defense in support of Eighth Army and United States Forces Korea.
"Over the last two years, we have faced a very unpredictable and growing threat here in the Republic of Korea," said Vandal.
"However, thanks to the Soldiers and leaders of the Dragon Brigade, and its outstanding performance, we've demonstrated time and time again we have a credible deterrence on this peninsula, and the 35th ADA Brigade is certainly ready to fight tonight," he said.
During Holler's tenure, the brigade launched the largest Patriot modernization effort ever conducted outside a U.S. depot facility, enhanced joint and combined interoperability during peninsula-wide training exercises, and integrated the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system into the layered air defense mission on the Peninsula.
"In this command, we establish leader-to-led relationships in what Command Sgt. Maj. McCray and I call the CTA; communication, trust and accountability," said Holler during his speech.
"Leaders throughout the Dragon Brigade have bought into the CTA, and that is why this is an elite unit, and the most accomplished air defense artillery brigade in our Army," he said.
Holler will serve as the executive officer to the inspector general at the Pentagon for his next assignment.
Wright arrives to Korea from Stuttgart, Germany, where he served as the deputy division chief for missile defense, J5/8, United States European Command.
"I'm honored for the opportunity to serve with each and every one of you as the newest member of the 35th ADA Brigade team," said Wright. "Together we will be ready in defense as the Army's most capable, lethal, and disciplined air defense brigade, trained to fight tonight, fight together, and fight strong."
The 35th ADA BDE is geographically dispersed across four locations on the Korean Peninsula, and is the only brigade in the U.S. Army that employs the Patriot, Avenger and THAAD weapon systems.