MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU AIR BASE , Romania – Soldiers assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team “BASTOGNE” and the 2nd Brigade Combat Team “STRIKE”, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), held a transfer of authority ceremony and a combined arms capabilities demonstration on March 31, 2023, at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania.
The 2nd Brigade Combat Team cased their brigade colors marking the end of their deployment in support of Operation European Assure, Deter and Reinforce, while 1st Brigade Combat Team uncased their brigade colors, officially symbolizing the transfer of authority from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
“We welcome the Bastogne Brigade here in Southeastern Europe, I know they will maintain the same level of mission focus that the Strike Brigade has over the last nine months,” said Maj. Gen. JP McGee, Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). “Since June 6, 1944, on the beaches of Normandy, France, this division has repeatedly answered the Nation’s call in every major conflict; the Screaming Eagles of today are ready to support our Allies to preserve the long-lasting stability in Europe that our predecessors fought and died to secure.”
While being primarily located in Romania for the past nine-months, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team conducted rigorous training with various NATO partners and allies across the continent of Europe.
“From the sunny Aegean Coast in Greece to boreal forests high above the Artic circle in Finland; from NATO’s northern frontier in Estonia, to its premier training areas in Germany, and many other places in between, we trained,” stated the Commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Col. Ed Matthaidess. “In doing what Soldiers do best, training, we built friendships and everlasting memories with the Romanian armed forces.”
While the 2nd Brigade Combat Team has completed its mission, 1st Brigade Combat Team looks forward to continuing assurance, deterrence and the reinforcement of NATO partners and allies through joint interoperability, readiness and lethality.
“The unfurling of our colors here in Romania signifies a new chapter in the First Brigade Combat Team’s story,” remarked the Commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Col. Kevin R. Sharp. “Bastogne is eager to build upon the phenomenal nine-month endeavor of our brother and sisters in STRIKE Brigade. Together with our Eastern European Partners, we will continue to work to enhance the joint readiness, lethality and interoperability that underpins the NATO alliance of the last 74 years.”
The day concluded with a combined U.S. Army and Romanian Military capabilities demonstration. The combined arms capabilities demonstration included U.S. and allied Soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), the Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division, the Romanian 9th Mechanized Brigade, the 572nd Puma Squadron and the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.
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