Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.- Soldiers of the 5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade, conduct a color casing ceremony Aug, 8th at Wilson Fitness Center, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
"On behalf of the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command at Ft. Bliss, Texas, and 31st ADA Brigade at Ft. Sill, Okla.," said Col. Janice Chen, the commander of 31st ADA Brigade. "I would like to express our deepest gratitude to 1st Corps, 7th Infantry Division, 17th Field Artillery Brigade, 308th Brigade Support Battalion, and the JBLM community at large, for their exceptional support of this battalion over the past 12 years."
5-5 ADA, which is a part of the 31st ADA Brigade at Ft. Sill, Okla. was first constituted June 13, 1861 as Battery H, 5th Regiment of Artillery. Since their creation, they have been reorganized multiple times and saw combat during the Civil War, World War II, and Korean War. On Oct. 1, 2005, they officially became 5-5 ADA and moved from Korea to Ft. Lewis, Wash. Since then, they have supported combat operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
While they were located at JBLM, they were attached to 17th Field Artillery Brigade.
"Speaking as the former battalion command sgt. maj. and the current 31st ADA Brigade command sgt. maj.," said Command Sgt. Maj. Jerry Jacobitz, "the relationship that 5-5 enjoyed with 17th FA Brigade was simply phenomenal. The pathways of communications were always open and their entire leadership has helped out this battalion immensely."
Relocating 5-5 ADA from JBLM, Wash to Ft. Sill, Okla. will consolidate the 31st ADA Brigade onto one installation. This ensures that the unit is compliant with the total Army analysis and allows the Army to realign organizationally, in order to optimize its warfighting capability training readiness and efficiency. This will also be the first time that 5-5 ADA will be co-located with its parent brigade.
"One of the reasons the decision to move the battalion was made," said Jacobitz, "is because they will have more of a freedom to train with their weapon systems then they have here due to the training areas on Ft. Sill."
As of Aug. 8th, 5-5 ADA "Dragon Slayers" is mission complete on JBLM.
"Dragon Slayers, let the next chapter begin," said Chen. "Bayonet, swift and sure, thunderbolt, ready and vigilant, unleash hell."