CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Approximately 70 members of the Colorado Army National Guard are heading to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield in the first deployment for Colorado Infantry since World War II, when then-Lt. Col. Felix Sparks led the 157th Infantry Regiment to the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp.A private departure ceremony for the warriors from Company A “Attack” 1st Battalion 157th Infantry Regiment (MTN) was scheduled Jan. 29 at the North Colorado Springs Readiness Center, Colorado Springs.“Attack company is proud to continue the legacy of Colorado Infantry and those members that have served before us,” said U.S. Army Capt. Brian Howard, attack company commander. “From our command team to our individual gunners, we are all motivated and excited for this opportunity to work alongside our brothers and sister in Vermont.”The unit is aligned with the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and will join with the Vermont Army National Guard to support combatant commanders with infrastructure security forces in the U.S. Central Command Area of operations.“These diverse and highly skilled Colorado National Guard Soldiers have volunteered to leave Colorado and serve our federal mission, defending freedom and supporting coalition forces,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Laura Clellan, Colorado adjutant general. “Thank you to the families, employers and communities who support these warriors and our service members who are continuing to serve our communities here in Colorado.”In May 1949, the 157th Infantry Regiment has redesignated the 157th Regimental Combat team and nearly a decade later, on Feb. 1, 1959, was reorganized into 1st Battalion 157th Field Artillery. Today, the 3rd Battalion 157th Field Artillery still holds the official lineage and honors of the historic Colorado Infantry.For 51 years, seven months and 24 days, the COARNG was without an infantry unit. On Sept. 25, 2010, the 1-157th Infantry officially returned to the COARNG. This infantry unit remains determined not only to carry on the unit designation of Colorado infantrymen who came before them but also uphold the long and proud traditions of the infantry in Colorado.For more National Guard newsNational Guard FacebookNational Guard Twitter