Families, friends and fellow Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, attended the Battalion's colors casing ceremony, Jan. 24, 2020 at Stout Gym, Fort Bliss, Texas. Every command, brigade or regiment in the U.S. Army has a distinctive flag assigned that represents the unit in some specific way.
As the unit history was read during the ceremony, the Soldiers of the mighty Warrior Battalion fell in behind the colors to follow them as they prepare to deploy to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield. The colors represent not only the Soldiers of the present, but those who have come before them to represent this fine unit throughout its storied history. But it is not just the Soldiers that represent the colors and the unit, it is also the Families, friends and fellow Soldiers of the Imperial Brigade who came to see them as they depart Fort Bliss to answer the call to action to defend freedom.
The Battalion command team of Lt. Col. Carina Kelley and Command Sgt. Maj. Erik Bernal have been instrumental in preparing their Soldiers for their upcoming mission. "CSM Bernal and I have the utmost confidence that the Warrior Battalion is prepared to execute any mission we are asked to do," said Kelley. "Our Warriors have proven time and time again that they are truly 'Second to None', and can handle anything thrown at them."
2-43 ADA BN has been training rigorously for the better part of 2019 in preparation for their deployment. The Warrior Battalion has conducted countless field training exercises over the past 12 months, completing Air Defense Gunnery Table VIII certifications and conducting battery level field training exercises to incorporate Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear, and site security training.
The Battalion Headquarters deployed personnel and equipment to Orzysz, Poland in support of U.S. Army Europe to participate in "Tobruq Legacy," a joint and combined exercise with more than 17 NATO and partner nation air defense units. "Looking back, participating in this exercise proved invaluable to the Warrior Battalion as we learned tactics, techniques and procedures as well as doctrine with the integration of various air defense platforms," said Kelley.
The Warrior Battalion then completed "Imperial Crucible," the units Mission Rehearsal Exercise, conducting expeditionary air defense operations while they completed table XII certifications for all assigned crews. The exercise encompassed full-scale, unified land operations providing integrated air defense to a combatant command, utilizing multiple locations and a variety of complex real-world threats to evaluate Soldier and unit tactical proficiency and technical competency.
As Soldiers are the Army's most valued commodity, maintaining the health of the force has remained an enduring line of effort for the leaders of the Battalion. Programs such as 'Make the Call, Stay Ready' workshops and 'Strong Bonds' retreats have been health of force enablers for commanders and first sergeants throughout the battalion.
The Warrior Battalion is a resilient, battle ready team with committed leaders. Kelley stated that "being battle ready Warriors starts and ends with the service and sacrifice of our great Soldiers." It is this dedication, selflessness and sacrifice displayed each and every day by these amazing Soldiers that the battalion will achieve its goal of providing uninterrupted Integrated Air and Missile Defense of critical assets in theater and then bring everyone home.