FORT BLISS, Texas - The 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team 'Iron Brigade', 1st Armored Division marked the start of a deployment in support of DEFENDER-Europe 20 with a colors casing ceremony on Strike Field February 28.The casing of the colors is a traditional ceremony held by United States Army.From the earliest of times, Warriors used a banner or other symbols to identify specific units, and to serve as a rallying point for troops. Today, the Colors, with battle streamers attached, join their unit in formations during ceremonies to signify their presence during past battles.This ceremony symbolizes the unit's movement of operations from its home station to the U.S. Army Europe Command area of operations in support of DEFENDER-Europe 20.DEFENDER-Europe 20 demonstrates the U.S. military's ability to rapidly deploy a large combat-credible force from the U.S. to Europe to support NATO and respond to a crisis. Once in Europe, U.S. service members will spread out across the region to participate in various annual exercises with our allies and partners. DEFENDER-Europe 20 will conclude with the redeployment of U.S.-based forces and equipment."The brigade is in stride of its deployment to the EUCOM area of responsibility where we will execute DEFENDER-Europe 20," said Col. Chad C. Chalfont, the 2ABCT commander. "This exercise will include 30,000 Soldiers and will occur across multiple countries in central and eastern Europe. The continent has not seen an exercise of this size in over 25 years. Through this exercise we will build readiness, set the theater, and increase the strength of our allies and partners."Approximately 3,500 Soldiers from the 'Iron Brigade' and subordinate units will deploy to Europe."The Iron Brigade's return to Europe is important," said Chalfont. "We are going to be a part of something special. As we rapidly move into and across Europe, integrate into our allies formations, and conduct live-fire maneuver training I know we will get better every day."The 2ABCT commander closed his remarks by expressing his gratitude for the families of the Soldiers."I offer my deepest thanks to the families of our Soldiers who are deploying," he said. "We do our job in the Army with the love and support of our spouses, sons, daughters, family members and loved ones. What we do matters and your support surely matters more. Thank you and we will be home soon."