SOUTHWEST ASIA -- The 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery transferred authority to its regimental sister 2d Battalion in a ceremony here on May 12, 2017. During the ceremony, the outgoing command team, Lt. Col. Henry Bennet and Command Sgt. Maj. Alan Jonason, cased the First's colors as the incoming command team uncased the Second's.
Bennet was the first to address his Soldiers and guests. Bennet is proud of his troops and the quality of work and training they accomplished during the past year.
"We have accomplished numerous things throughout our deployment here in theater, most notably our maintenance rate," said Bennet, referencing the high percentage of operational readiness which his battalion achieved.
Bennet explained that the summer heat in the region poses a lot of challenges to maintaining the Patriot missile systems, but his Soldiers made a heroic effort to keep the missile launchers and accompanying generators mission capable. Bennet said he is confident that his troops and systems were ready to complete any mission that they could have encountered any point in time. He expressed confidence that Second Battalion's Soldiers would maintain the regiment's high standards after First Battalion departed.
"The "Warrior" battalion following us is just as well trained and ready," said Bennet. "We know if called upon they will be able to execute any mission."
As for his battalion, Bennet expressed satisfaction in a job well done and in the knowledge that he and his troops could go home confident that they executed their role in deterring enemy aggression successfully. There were also the comforts of home to consider.
"It is a great Army day," said Bennet. "We are excited to get back to our loved ones and the more bearable Texas heat."