By Rick Wood, Northwest GuardianJune 2, 2011
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash., June 3, 2011 -- With its colors cased, America’s Corps is ready for deployment to Afghanistan to help lead the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command in Kabul.
Deputy Commanding General and Chief of Staff of U.S. Army Forces Command Lt. Gen. Howard Bromberg said he could envision no better unit to take on the challenge than I Corps during the deployment ceremony in front of its headquarters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Lewis Main May 26, 2011.
“This corps has always moved toward the sound of the guns,” Bromberg said. “It is no surprise, after the success in Iraq, that they would be called upon to do it again.”
I Corps will play a pivotal role, alongside 47 other contributing nations, to bring security and stability to Afghanistan, he said.
“I don’t have to tell you Afghanistan is very challenging,” Bromberg said. “It’s complex.”
Support of families and friends is key to the success of the mission, he said.
“We can never, ever repay you for the love and support of our Soldiers,” Bromberg said.
I Corps has trained hard and has superb leadership, he said.
“(Scaparrotti) is clearly the right leader at the right time to lead this mission,” Bromberg said.
I Corps Commanding General Lt. Gen. Mike Scaparrotti said he and the corps stand ready to take on the challenges of the continued mission in Afghanistan.
“Our mission is one of strategic importance,” Scaparrotti said. “We must succeed in Afghanistan.”
Denying the Taliban sanctuary in Afghanistan and restoring security to the nation is the core of their mission, he said.
“We have a debt to (those) who have gone before us,” Scaparrotti said. “I Corps is proud to take its place and focus on maintaining the momentum achieved in the surge.”
The corps is proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Afghan security forces, he said.
“This team is strong " Army Strong,” Scaparrotti said.
He ended his speech by thanking families and friends of deploying Soldiers for their continued and unwavering support.
I Corps Command Sgt.Maj. John Troxell assisted Scaparrotti in sheathing the corps colors, while subordinate commanders did likewise.
America’s Corps is the most decorated corps in the Army, tracing its history to World War I. A 2009 deployment to Iraq marked the first combat deployment of the corps since the Korean War half a century ago.
With their colors cased, I Corps now begins final preparations for an undisclosed departure this summer.