By Spc. David L. NyeJuly 7, 2009
Col. Christopher L. Spillman took command of the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade in a ceremony at the Main Post Parade Field June 23.
"We are all here to witness the tradition of installing the next commander of the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade and welcome a new command team to the Spartan Brigade, Colonel Chris Spillman and his lovely wife, Joanne," said Brig. Gen. Robert H. Woods, commanding general of the 32d Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Fort Bliss, Texas.
"I know without a doubt that Chris Spillman has done all the tough jobs and possesses all the prerequisite skills and attributes to lead and keep this fast-paced and standard-setting brigade moving forward," Woods continued.
Woods described the current position of the Spartan Brigade while speaking about the battalions which make up the 108th brigade.
All three of the battalions are in motion as one battalion that has just returned from deployment. One has most of its members deployed and the third is preparing to deploy, said Woods.
Spillman spoke about what it meant to take command of a brigade with such a reputation in air defense artillery.
"It is indeed both humbling and a great honor to be charged with the responsibility of leading these great Soldiers. The reputation of this brigade throughout the Fort Bragg and the Air Defense Artillery Corps is truly second to none and I am very proud to be its commander."
Spillman took some time to reminisce about his time in the 108th Brigade as a lieutenant.
"It has been some 22 years since Colonel Jeff Underhill, your former commander, and I first stood in a formation of the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade," said Spillman. "We both served as lieutenants in this outstanding outfit in the late 1980s. That, of course, was a different time and a different era. Back then, it was East and West Germany, the Cold War, Soviet bombers and the Patriot missile force was just being fielded. Today, it is rogue nations, the War on Terror and ballistic missiles armed with weapons of mass destruction. It is also, in many ways, a far more dangerous and unpredictable world, but just as it was in the 1980s and 1990s, the Spartan Brigade remains at the forefront of our Army, charged with fulfilling the crucial mission of defending assets critical to the joint force commander."
Woods and Spillman both addressed those who support the Spartan Brigade every day.
"I sincerely want to recognize the friends of Fort Bragg and the surrounding community for their continued support of the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade," said Woods. "As their commander from afar, I am thankful for the many supporters in the Fort Bragg community. This strong bond and great relationship will benefit the 108th Brigade and Fort Bragg for many years to come. I sincerely thank you for your great support.
"I'd also like to thank the Families of the great Soldiers and noncommissioned officers of the 108th Brigade," continued Woods. "We know that every Soldier today owes a huge part of their success to the love and support that they receive from their loved ones."
"I must say, I truly look forward to the important missions and challenges that lie ahead for this brigade," said Spillman. "But also, Joanne and I look forward to building close relationships with the Fort Bragg community."