By Sgt. Christine Rosa, 1st BCT, Public Affairs, 1st Cav. Div.June 14, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas - 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division cased its colors during a ceremony on Cooper Field once again to mark the Brigade's fourth deployment to Iraq.
"You are going into Iraq at a crucial time in history. Over the course of the next year, decisions will be made that will shape the future of the region and will have major impacts on the rest of the world," said Lt. Gen. Donald Campbell Jr., III Corps and Fort Hood commander. "As all Soldiers that have done and will continue to do - you will not watch history, you will make it. You all will be an integral part of Iraq's history."
The Ironhorse Brigade is the last brigade of 1st Cavalry Division remaining at Fort Hood. Ironhorse Soldiers will depart for war and join their comrades of the 1st Cavalry Division overseas.
"Shortly after marching off the field today we will join our brothers Pegasus, Long Knife, Greywolf, Black Jack and Warrior on the front lines defending the concepts of freedom and human dignity," said Col. Scott Efflandt, commander of the Ironhorse Brigade.
The Ironhorse Brigade will deploy in support of Operation New Dawn which marked the official end of Operation Iraqi Freedom on September 1, 2010, and ultimately, the end of combat operations in Iraq. Operation New Dawn emphasizes stability operations and advising, assisting and training of Iraqi Security Forces.
The Ironhorse Brigade supported the war on terrorism in 2004 during Operation Iraqi Freedom in Eastern Baghdad and again in 2006. During its third deployment to Iraq, the brigade made history on June 30, 2009 when they partnered with Iraqi Security Forces, the 9th Iraqi Army Division and the 11th Iraqi Army Division to foster the transition between U.S. troops and Iraqi Security Forces.
The Ironhorse Brigade foresees making history once again with their upcoming deployment. With the Status of Forces Agreement expiring December 31, the brigade deploys during a pivotal time for military forces and the Iraqi nation.
"It's an honor to be part of one of the units that went in the first wave and are now going to shut off the lights and close the door on the war in Iraq, leaving a sovereign country free of turmoil," said Command Sgt. Maj. Lance Lehr of the Ironhorse Brigade.
The Brigade's upcoming deployment continues the historic legend of the 1st Cavalry Division.
"You carry on this legacy of heroism and sacrifice by taking the fight to the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan today, and as part of the First Team, you all will once again return in victory," said Campbell. "I can't think of a better unit to send forward during these times than the First Team."
"While the Ironhorse team moves to the sound of guns out of a sense of duty and loyalty, our departure is bittersweet. Leave a light on for us, because we can't wait to come back home," concluded Efflandt.