By Pfc. Blair NeelandsFebruary 10, 2010
FORT DRUM, N.Y. - The 1st Brigade Combat Team cased its colors Feb. 9 at Magrath Gym, officially making the final preparations for its upcoming deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
More than 3,000 Warrior Brigade Soldiers will deploy to Afghanistan within the coming months.
Guest speaker at the ceremony was Maj. Gen. James L. Terry, 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum commander. He told Soldiers and Families of the brigade how proud he is of them and how much faith he has in their abilities.
"I am confident you are all ready for the challenge to come," Terry said. "You are strong, you are prepared, and you embody the Warrior Ethos."
Although 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment left the North Country last month and is already operating in Afghanistan, Soldiers stood in formation representing the rest of their battalion.
Since its activation on April 11, 1986, 1st Brigade has deployed to exercises both overseas and throughout the country to include Honduras, Panama, Somalia, Haiti and southern Florida. The brigade previously deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, with its 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment being the first conventional unit to enter Afghanistan.
The unit has since grown from a brigade of approximately 1,800 Soldiers to a brigade combat team of roughly 3,500 Soldiers.
Most recently, 1st BCT deployed twice to areas of Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Once the brigade has reached its destination in Afghanistan, units will uncase their colors and begin their mission of training the Afghan National Army.