SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii Aca,!" Families and guests gathered for a deployment ceremony at Sills Field, here, June 24, to bid farewell to the Soldiers serving with the 2nd "Warrior" Brigade Combat Team (Advise and Assist Brigade), 25th Infantry Division.

The ceremony honored Soldiers from the brigade's six subordinate battalions as the units displayed formations of their Soldiers to an audience of well-wishers.

The Warriors will depart on a 12-month deployment as an Advise and Assist Brigade in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Northern Iraq, where they will be at the forefront of training and empowering the Iraqi Security Forces.

Maj. Gen. Bernard S. Champoux, commanding general, 25th Infantry Division and reviewing officer for the ceremony, wished the best of luck to the departing Soldiers and expressed confidence in their ability to perform the mission.
Aca,!A"You stand before us today demonstrating that you are ready, you will take care of the mission, and you will take care of each other,Aca,!A? said Champoux.

With U.S. forces planned to be removed from Iraq by the end of 2011, U.S. participation in the conflict in Iraq has entered a phase of operation called "New Dawn."

Col. Malcolm B. Frost, commander, 2nd Bde. Combat Team, will lead the brigade throughout their deployment to oversee the successful support and assistance of Iraqi government officials and security forces at all levels. Helping Iraqi officials build enduring security and stability capacity for the Iraqi people is the among the brigade's highest priorities.

During the ceremony, the unit commanders joined Frost in a simultaneous casing of the brigade and battalion colors, symbolically departing Hawaii for their new mission in Iraq.

As the ceremony concluded, family members rushed onto the field to embrace their departing Soldier and begin to say their goodbyes. Soldiers and family members, many of whom are no strangers to deployment, found saying goodbye as difficult as ever.

Aca,!A"I am ready for this deployment, but it is going to be hard leaving my three daughters and my wife, even though I know my family will be taken care of while I am away,Aca,!A? said Spc. Brandon Cabalar, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Bde. Combat Team.

Aca,!A"You are never ready for a deployment. This is my husbandAca,!a,,cs second deployment,Aca,!A? said Tanya Cabalar, a military spouse. Aca,!A"I just take it day by day.Aca,!A?

The strain of deployments on family life have been recognized by division and brigade senior leaders and Champoux expressed his gratitude for the hardship both families and their Soldier would soon endure for their Nation.

Aca,!A"We are witnesses to their commitment, dedication and their willingness to go for us,Aca,!A? said Champoux. Aca,!A"This division and this community stand before you to allege to you that we will take care of your families and loved ones.Aca,!A?

The units of the brigade will operate in several key regions of northern Iraq, including Diyala, Salah a'Din, and Kirkuk provinces. During the brigadeAca,!a,,cs previous 15-month deployment to Iraq, Warrior units operated within an area encompassing more than 1,500-square miles north of Baghdad.