JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. " Lt. Gen. Curtis “Mike” Scaparrotti, I Corps Commanding General, and Command Sergeant Major John Troxell, the command’s senior non-commissioned officer, furled and cased the I Corps colors in front of the I Corps headquarters this morning in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan.

“Our focus will be to maintain the momentum that has been achieved in the surge and to rapidly build the capacity of the Afghans to secure and govern their country " with an eye on their full assumption of security in 2014,” said Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, I Corps Commanding General.

Nearly 700 Soldiers from the I Corps Headquarters will deploy to Afghanistan to form the core of the NATO International Security Assistance Force Joint Command Headquarters or IJC. The IJC has operational responsibility throughout all of Afghanistan.

“It will be our honor to serve side by side with the 48 Inter-National Allies in this critical mission, and to work with them to realize the enduring long-term partnership with Afghanistan agreed upon at the Lisbon Summit in November,” said Scaparrotti.

Lt. Gen. Howard Bromberg, the Deputy Commanding General/Chief of Staff, U.S. Forces Command was the ceremonies guest of honor and highlighted Scaparrotti’s experience and the accomplishments of the Soldiers at JBLM.

The I Corps Headquarters will participate in one last compressive unit exercise next month and then begin movement to Afghanistan in the summer.

Most recently, I Corps headquarters returned from deployment as Multi-National Corps Iraq in March 2010. Since its formation in 1918, I Corps has participated in more campaigns than any other corps in the U.S. Army’s history and is the only corps ever to be awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.