By Spc. Adam Turner, 1st Cav. Div. PAOApril 20, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas- Maj. Gen. Daniel Allyn, the 1st Cavalry Division commander, along with Soldiers from the division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team and Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, cased the division's colors in preparation for deployment in support both fronts of the War on Terror on Fort Hood's Cooper Field April 15.
This is the fourth deployment for "America's First Team" since the beginning of the in 2003.
During the Cav's first deployment, the division witnessed national elections in 2005; served as an intricate part of the successful 'Surge' during its second deployment; oversaw the training and operational control of Coalition and Iraqi forces within the region in 2006; and assuming command of Multi - National Division Baghdad for Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2009 to 2010.
"Over the past year, we have forged championship teams and rigorously trained, studied, and prepared for the complex challenges facing our nation," Allyn remarked from the podium.
"Our division headquarters and the Black Jack team invested countless hours in preparation, culminating in stellar mission readiness exercises, and we now approach the point of departure where we will put our training and preparation into action," he said.
With all of the deployments to Iraq, this newest excursion allows America's First Team to not only apply the lessons learned from previous deployments to Baghdad, but also gives the division a new set of combat orders to learn in a new in theater command experience.
"These two great units, both members of America's Cavalry, will deploy shortly to do the Nation's work," Allyn said.
Today in Iraq, where the situation was once described as dire, American Soldiers - the Long Knife and Grey Wolf Combat Teams among them - are engaged in Operation New Dawn. The skill of our fighting men and women has destroyed the will of the insurgency, and now American Soldiers work with our Iraqi partners to ensure that our success is enduring, he added.
The casing of the colors is an Army tradition that symbolizes the movement of the division to a new theater of operation. Surrounded by pomp and circumstance, the tradition and legacy of the 1st Cavalry Division was on display for all those in attendance. 1st Cavalry Soldiers, past and present, gathered to honor the division colors and the Soldiers who face this current deployment.
"In Afghanistan, in Regional Command East, our brothers and sisters in the 101st Airborne are pushing the Taliban and al-Qaeda out of their former strongholds and back on their heels. We will continue this effort through the valor of our Cavalry Troopers and the Soldiers of Regional Command East," Allyn declared.
Allyn, and incoming Command Sgt. Major Isaia Viomoto, touted the men and women who wear the 1st Cav. Div. patch and reminded them of the importance of their mission in the Afghan theater of operations. They also praised the unwavering support of the Families who must support their Soldiers and shoulder the burden of another deployment.
"Let me be very clear about the context of these deployments. Our country is engaged in a long war against a network of radical terrorists who threaten everything that we and our allies believe in; and in Iraq and Afghanistan the decisive battles of this war are being fought. Our Troopers face challenging missions, and we are ready," he said.
"Standing shoulder to shoulder with our partners in Iraq and Afghanistan and our allies, we will rise to the complex challenges we face and succeed; and we will draw our strength from you and our Nation as we chart the next chapter in the Legend of America's Cavalry," Allyn continued. "In the months ahead, may God grant us the strength and wisdom to accomplish our mission... and may He watch over our friends and loved ones; our Coalition allies; our First Team Troopers and all the Soldiers of our great Army, and - of course - the United States of America. Make much of your horses!"