FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, cased their units' colors Tuesday at Manhart Field in preparation for their deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The ceremony, with its military traditions, signifies that the 2nd BCT is ready for its deployment and allows the Soldiers to bid a proper farewell to Family and friends.

Approximately 3,500 "Warhorse" Soldiers will leave the Mountain Post during the next several weeks for a yearlong deployment.

The Warhorse Brigade readiness is based on the last 21 months of extensive training.

Usually a heavy brigade of armored vehicles, the Warhorse brigade has now been trained to build security force assistance teams and to build and train female engagement teams.

"We have worked hard over the past 21 months to build a team of Soldiers and Family members that are ready for the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead," said Col. John S. Kolasheski, 2nd BCT commander.

After the ceremony, Soldiers exhibited confidence in the Warhorse Brigade's readiness.

"I feel that my troops and I are prepared mentally and physically," said Sgt. Mark Ford, an ammunition specialist with 204th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd BCT.

Keeping with standard military tradition, in response, support and honor of the training the Warhorse Soldiers completed, the brigade colors were cased.

"The very soul of a military unit is symbolized in the colors under which it fights, for it records the glories of the past, stands guardian over its present and ensures inspiration for its future," said Capt. Aaron Cross, the narrator for Tuesday's casing ceremony.

The colors will be uncased once in theater. The casing of the brigade's colors was completed by Kolasheski and 2nd BCT Command Sgt. Maj. Ralph F. Delosa.

As the Warhorse Brigade said goodbye temporarily to Family and friends, Soldiers want them to remember what they are fighting for, and that everyone is in their hearts, said Ford.

"We believe that we are the right unit, at the right time, going into the right place to make a difference building irreversible, forward momentum," said Kolasheski.