KADENA AIR BASE, OKINAWA, Japan-Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment welcomed a new commander and bid farewell to the outgoing commander during a change of command ceremony held Thursday, June 22 at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan.
Lt. Col. Scott M. Dellinger of Houston, Texas relinquished his command position to Lt. Col. Neal J. Lape of Syracuse, N.Y. after commanding the battalion for the past two years.
During the ceremony, Soldiers from the units stood sharp in formation honoring the service of the outgoing commander and receiving the unit's new leader.
During his command, Dellinger oversaw the battalion reorganization into two alert batteries standing watch in Okinawa, and two deployable reinforcing batteries prepared to move via sea or air to any area in the Asia Pacific Region where the Patriot missile system may need to be emplaced, allowing both operational and strategic options to senior military leadership.
The reviewing officer for the ceremony was Brig. Gen. Sean A. Gainey, commander, 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command.
"My complements to the officers, NCOs [noncommissioned officer], and Soldiers, past and present that have performed so superbly for the Snake Eyes Battalion," said Gainey during his speech recognizing the efforts of the Soldiers and leaders of 1-1 ADA.
"Over the last two years these Soldiers have been led by a great warrior and a great leader," he continued.
Gainey talked about how Dellinger's leadership and focus allowed the Soldiers of 1-1 ADA to be successful in one of the most complex and critical security environments in the world, and that he clearly left a lasting impact in the battalion.
Dellinger shared what a remarkable team he had as the 1-1 ADA commander and how his Soldiers stand out as 'First among Equals'.
"The source of 1-1 ADA's strength is a symbol in front of us," said Dellinger referring to the Soldiers' formation in front of him. "Representing about 600 Soldiers, noncommissioned officers, warrant officers and officers who's tireless efforts make it easy to proclaim that we are the best there is.
"The battalion endured a lot of changes in the last 24 months," he added. "Changes that significantly improved our readiness and changes that significantly improved the defense of Japan from real threats."
Dellinger applauded and thanked his Soldiers for everything they accomplished as a team in the past 24 months.
"The success and accomplishments of 1-1 ADA are not mine," explained Dellinger. "Every single Soldier and their commitment to the Army profession ensured that we could achieve our goals.
"I appreciate every single Snake Eyes' Soldier and their never quit attitude," he added. "They operate in the toughest environments, both operationally and physically."
Dellinger passed the unit's colors to Lape during the ceremony representing the transfer of his responsibilities as the battalion commander.
The Snake Eyes battalion deployed to Okinawa in 2006 and initially operated as a stand-alone system. Now 1-1 ADA works alongside Japan's 5th Air Defense Missile Group and the 15th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment providing a much greater integrated air and missile defense capability, which serves as a deterrent against all possible adversaries in the region.