FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- The 14th Military Intelligence Battalion cased its colors Oct. 19 as it prepared to deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The casing of the colors represents the movement of the unit's mission to a new theater of operations. The ceremony took place at the Fort Sam Houston Youth Activity Center.

Guest of honor for this event was Maj. Gen. Mary Legere, commander of the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command. Also in attendance were other distinguished guests along with family, friends and fellow Soldiers.

In his address, Col. Pierre Gervais, 470th Military Intelligence Brigade commander, thanked the family members for "assembling to acknowledge the professionalism, commitment, and selfless service" of the approximately 130 deploying Soldiers and to formally recognize their impending deployment.

Gervais also emphasized the Soldiers' willingness to serve by continuing to enlist and reenlist and deploy when called.

The 14th's deployment history includes missions in support of various units around the world. Over the years it has conducted imagery interpretation, provided technical intelligence, document translation, ground-based signals intelligence, and electronic warfare support.

In July 2009, the battalion deployed to Iraq to conduct interrogation and debriefing operations in support of multi-national forces there. For the upcoming deployment, the battalion will conduct a similar mission in support of U.S. Forces Afghanistan and the International Security Assistance Force.

Lt. Col. Kris Arnold, battalion commander, pinpointed three watchwords key to preparedness in his speech to the "Vipers": trust, discipline and fitness.

"Over the last year, one of the critical lessons I've learned as a battalion commander is that when Soldiers trust their leaders, they worry less about themselves and focus on the mission," he said. "The 14th is a truly disciplined unit … extensive and multifaceted training has resulted in an extremely competent and disciplined unit…. The 14th takes fitness seriously, especially physical fitness….

"So the 14th is ready to deploy, as the trust, discipline and fitness levels have truly reached a high water mark over the last year as we have ramped up for deployment," Arnold continued. "These levels will continue to grow during the deployment as we will establish a very formalized and methodical process for continuing to train and learn in a live-environment setting where the context is as rich as it can be."

Arnold and battalion Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Fanelli shared the honor of furling and casing the colors.